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Corey Peters Starts Virtual Book Club For Arizona High School Students

Cardinals defensive tackle emphasizing importance of literacy

DT Corey Peters, shown here during a book club meeting last October, has taken his events virtual due to COVID-19.
DT Corey Peters, shown here during a book club meeting last October, has taken his events virtual due to COVID-19.

Every summer growing up, Corey Peters was tasked with reading for up to an hour each day.

Naturally, he hated it.

But as life moved along, the Cardinals' defensive tackle realized his parents set him up well for the future.

"When I was in college dealing with some of the team, we would talk about certain things, as far as education and the classroom," said Peters, who attended Kentucky. "A lot of the guys were not comfortable in a classroom setting because they weren't confident in their ability to read. That's not to say that they couldn't read, but they were uncomfortable reading aloud. Any time that they had to speak intelligently in front of other people, they were uncomfortable doing so. And these were smart guys.

"So I just think that reading is a very important thing. It's an easy thing. Everybody has access to some information with the internet now. If you're able to read, you can teach yourself anything. I truly believe that."

Peters' acumen has helped him carve out a 10-year NFL career, and he wants to pay forward what his parents taught him.

Peters recently launched a virtual book club called ‘The Corey Peters Playbook’ to provide an educational outlet for all Arizona high school students during the COVID-19 crisis. He held in-person book clubs in the past but believes the digital version could be an improvement.

"We're trying to look for silver linings in this pandemic, and I think it's an opportunity to reach more kids in maybe even a better format," Peters said.

Peters read the 'Goosebumps' series as a youngster, and as an adult has transitioned into "information-based books I can learn from." His club has read two books since its inception and will soon be starting 'Marcelo in the Real World' by Francisco X. Stork.

The Cardinals have been holding their offseason program in a similar format to the book club, as Peters and his teammates meet virtually to study the playbook.

There has been a lot of change on the defensive line the past few years, as the Cardinals have been working to supplement Peters with capable players at the position.

After an offseason that included the addition of veteran Jordan Phillips and draft picks Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence, Peters is optimistic.

But like in any classroom, he knows the Cardinals must earn a passing grade come test time.

"The first thing we need to acknowledge is that last year we failed as a unit," Peters said. "We failed as a team, too. There are always going to be a lot of changes, and I'm very happy with the changes they made. They brought in some talent. Jordan Phillips, a proven player in the league who is going to be able to contribute right away. And then the two draft picks, I think that was a great addition.

"I'm really anxious to get into a training camp setting and see what we've got. Everything looks good on paper, but we really have to click and figure out how we're going to play together and work off of each other. That's the best way to have success."