Peete heads into Arizona Sports Hall of Fame
Born in Mesa and raised in Tucson, Peete is a proud member of the 2012 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame induction class that also includes Misty Hyman, Jake Plummer and Tim Salmon.
Peete attended Sahuaro High School in Tucson, but didn't finish his prep days in the Grand Canyon State, instead graduating from Shawnee Mission South High in Overland Park, Kansas.
After high school, it was on to a stellar career at USC. But why not Arizona or Arizona State? Peete says he strongly considered both institutions.
"It was difficult. A lot of my friends from high school and a lot of friends that I actually played with in Tucson around the city ended up going to the University of Arizona or Arizona State, so it made it very difficult," Peete explained. "But at the end of the day, for me, and what I was looking for at that moment, USC had more to offer and that's why I chose USC, and it turned out to be very beneficial to me."
Peete made the most of his time at USC, and as a senior in 1988, led the Trojans to a 10-2 record, a Pac-10 championship and a spot in the Rose Bowl, where they lost to Michigan. Peete won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented to the nation's top senior quarterback, and he finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting - a distant second - to Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State, who had just enjoyed one of the best single seasons in college football history.
"Going into the season, there was a lot of talk about myself and (UCLA's) Troy Aikman as being the leading frontrunners," he said. "And then in about week five, we got word that this guy from Oklahoma State was racking up yards -- two-hundred-yard games and three-hundred-yard games against great competition.
"If I had to lose to someone, I could accept losing to Barry Sanders."
Despite his success at USC, the Detroit Lions didn't come calling until the 6th round of the 1989 NFL Draft and Peete, a two-sport star at USC, had a decision to make between football and baseball after also being selected by the Oakland A's in the 13th round.
"There were some doubts of whether or not people wanted me to play in the NFL, and during that time when I was negotiating with the Lions, the Oakland A's were actively pursuing me to come play," he said. "I did give it some serious consideration and went and worked out a few times for the Oakland A's in the summer of '89."
But Peete chose football as his path, and ended up starting 8 games during his rookie season in Detroit. His career also included stops in Dallas, Washington Oakland and Carolina, but the highlight may have been the 1995 season, when Peete helped guide the Philadelphia Eagles to a 10-6 record and a playoff win in relief of the injured Randall Cunningham.
Peete proved himself to be a valuable team member and spot starter in the NFL, as evidenced by his long 15-year career, which wrapped up following the 2004 season.
At the heart of it, Peete is honored by his Hall of Fame induction.
"I grew up there, so to be recognized by your home state in such a manner, where you kind of planted your roots and got everything started, it definitely means a lot to me and I'm very excited about it."