Samuel Peacock has as many interests as a literal peacock has feathers.
When he was 12 years old, Washington’s newest offensive line commit received an electric piano for Christmas. He “just liked playing around with that thing,” Peacock said Sunday. So much so, that a couple years later he bought an upright piano off Craigslist for $100, moved it into his house, studied YouTube tutorials and swiftly taught himself to play.
But that’s just one example. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gig Harbor offensive tackle also dabbles in photography; he said that he mostly specializes in landscape pictures on hikes. He played baseball for much of his childhood, before dropping it in favor of shot put and promptly breaking the school’s sophomore record. A year later, he secured a state title with a personal-best throw of 58-11. “Now,” he added with a chuckle, “it’s kind of become my thing.”
Or, at least, one of them. Peacock — who was home schooled up until high school — also studied mixed-martial arts for several years before discovering something new in seventh grade:
He stood out — literally, because of his size — at offensive tackle and linebacker. But that’s not all.
“I’d play receiver now and then — go stand in the end zone and grab a touchdown,” Peacock joked.
Less than six years after stumbling upon the sport, Peacock flipped his verbal commitment from Oregon State to Washington on Thursday. The local three-star standout said that “it was very difficult, just because I bought into Oregon State a lot. I loved the coaching staff. I really liked the place. I just had an opportunity to stay home and go to the University of Washington, and it just felt like the right choice.”
Football, too, feels like the right choice. But it was never the only one.
“Growing up, my parents were never really into sports,” Peacock explained. “I’m not going to lie to you and say that growing up, the only thing they wanted me to do was play football, and that was the only thing I ever wanted to do. They were always doing different things with me. My mom would show me different things — artistic stuff. My dad would take me mountain biking and hiking.”
But, among Peacock’s many feathers, you can find some common threads. He embraced the piano, and he excelled. He embraced photography, and he excelled. He embraced shot put, and he excelled. He embraced football, and he excelled.
Peacock attacked disparate pursuits with a singular persistence.
“I love competing,” he said. “I always want to be the best at anything I try to do. If it’s taking pictures, I try to be the best. If it’s blocking somebody, I’m going to block to the best of my ability. If I’m playing against a different team, I’m going to beat them. I’m just always trying to be the best.”
Peacock is not the best — yet. Of Washington’s five 2020 offensive line commits, he has the most modest recruiting ranking (according to 247Sports). There is room for literal, figurative and technical growth.
In a few years, perhaps, Peacock will be ready to stretch his feathers in Pac-12 play.
“There’s a lot of upside there,” said 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman. “He’s not a guy that there’s an expectation or a need to come in and play as a true freshman. They’re bringing him essentially as a developmental guy, because they can spend two to three years really developing him, putting on some good weight.
“He doesn’t have a slender frame, but he has a frame where he’s nowhere near his max weight. He’s playing at about 260 right now, 265 tops. He can probably put another 30 pounds on.”
Peacock isn’t the only one who made a choice in this equation. So did Washington. The hometown Huskies extended an offer to a relatively unheralded three-star offensive lineman. His future position coach, Scott Huff, ramped up communications roughly a month ago, Peacock said. He attended the Oregon game on an unofficial visit, “and the atmosphere was crazy. I really fell in love with it.”
As for UW, Peacock’s commitment fits the program’s imminent need at an invaluable position.
“It’s not a very tackle-heavy class (on the West Coast) in 2021. Most of the guys that are going to emerge or have already emerged at this point are interior guys,” Huffman said. “So if you can get a 6-5, 260-pounder that you know can play at the Pac-12 level, you go get him. You get him a year earlier. I think that’s why they took the fifth lineman, because there haven’t been tackles that have really emerged in the 2021 class.
“He’s not a finished product at all. He still needs to get stronger, but you can see the athleticism and the frame that he has. There’s a lot of physical upside there, a lot of room to grow. Athleticism-wise, academically, locally, he just kind of checks all those boxes at that spot.”
For years, Peacock has been checking boxes, adopting interests and eventually, excelling.
Now, imagine what he can do when he focuses on one specific feather.
“Once you get to school, that’s what my main focus is going to be,” Peacock said. “I love football so much. To be able to focus on just that I think is going to be really good, especially being surrounded by so many people that are on the same path. It’ll bring out the best in everybody, I think.”