Peterson followed in his mother's footsteps to excel in track & field at Woodward, where he won several medals in events such as the 100 meters, 200 meters, triple jump, and long jump. Peterson's coach has stated that he believes that, had he not chosen a career in football, Peterson could have become an Olympic sprinter instead. He recorded a wind-legal time of 10. 26 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the 2002 District 15-4A Championships, where he took first by a large margin. He also posted a wind-assisted time of 10. 33 seconds in the 100 meters at the 2003 UIL State Track Meet, where he earned a second-place finish behind Ivory Williams, who won the 2004 World Junior Championship over the same distance. At the 2004 District 14-4A Championships, Peterson ran the second leg on the Palestine 4 × 100 m relay squad, helping lead them to victory with a time of 41. 50 seconds. Peterson has stated that his personal-best times are 10. 19 seconds in the 100 meters, 21. 23 seconds in the 200 meters, and 47. 6 seconds in the 400 meters.