The following is a news release courtesy of Iowa State Athletics Communications:
AMES – Iowa State senior linebacker LeviPeters has decided to end his football career, Peters announced today.
Peters, who will graduate in the spring, has endured numerous injuries in his five-year career with the Cyclones. Peters had two surgeries on his right knee prior to enrolling at Iowa State. He’s had his left foot operated on twice and tore his Achilles tendon in his right foot, which also required surgery.
A native of Gilmore City, Iowa, Peters has grown into an Iowa State fan favorite with his passion, hustle and tenacity on the football field. He’s also been one of ISU’s most active ambassadors in community service. If the Cyclone football team was visiting a school, hospital or a public function, you were sure to see Peters there front and center.
The former walk-on made a name for himself as a redshirt freshman in 2013 when he won the Jim Doran Award as ISU’s outstanding special teams performer. His 2014 season ended after two games when he tore his Achilles tendon vs. Kansas State. He was awarded a scholarship at the end of the season.
Peters, who was voted team captain prior to the 2015 season, started nine games in 2015, tallying 47 tackles, 6.0 TFL and 4.0 sacks. He also led the team and ranked fifth in the Big 12 with three forced fumbles. His snap totals dwindled by the end of the season as injuries started to take its toll on his body.
Peters was a member of the Wuerffel Trophy and AFCA Good Works Team watch lists.
Statement from Levi Peters
“When the season ended in November I started to think I didn’t have another year in me. I didn’t open up to many people about it. There were many times where it was really hard to walk out of practice because my feet were hurting so bad. When the new coaching staff came in, it was in my head, ‘Ok, I’m coming off of being a captain and I need to be here to help lead these guys through this transition.’ I needed to do everything I could to get everybody through this. The first talks I had with Coach (Matt) Campbell and Coach (Tyson) Veidt were about my health. They knew about my injuries. It’s been a constant battle my whole career. I was trying to get through workouts, but I was struggling. I talked a lot to our doctors and trainers and they were giving me advice. What they tell me is very important to me. I probably had this decision made a while ago, but we were just starting winter workouts, which is our hardest regimen. I didn’t want to say I was in too much pain to be doing this stuff anymore. I love my teammates so much. I love this coaching staff. I love what they are doing to change the culture here. I wanted to try to be a leader during winter workouts and help guys get through it. I wanted to be there participating with them and not just cheering them on, so I finished winter workouts with them and decided it was time to hang up the cleats. I told the team this morning about my decision. They are very important to me and I wanted them to know the reason I am here is for them. I’m going to stick around and do whatever I can to help this team. I will do anything for them, and I wanted them to know that. I need to come to terms with my decision and make a positive out of it. Coach Campbell wants me to stay around and help. Coaching was something I never thought I would do, but I am so close to these guys and I will do anything I can to help them. You never know, maybe I will find a love for coaching. To the Iowa State fan base, thank you so much. Your love and support is amazing.”
Statement from Iowa State Head Football Coach Matt Campbell
“I don’t know if anybody epitomizes what it means to be a Cyclone more than Levi Peters. He gave everything he had for this program with a tenacity and work ethic matched by no one. He competed that way because he loved being a Cyclone. Levi is also a natural leader. That’s why he was voted a captain last year, and I noticed his leadership abilities in the short time I had coaching him. There is no doubt that Levi will be missed in the locker room, on the playing field and in the community. He’s a special kid who we want to maintain a part of our program.”