DESMON PEOPLES knows folks will find this revelation surprising, seeing as how he stars in the sport, but his TV watching does not include much football.
The Speed Channel. Horror movies. Now you're talking.
Hmm. Sounds as if this kid is into danger. Considering his dimensions are only 5-7, 170 pounds, maybe he loves it off the field so much because he's so accustomed to dealing with it on the field.
"Nah," he said. "I'm fine with that."
After drawing raves last season at St. Joseph's Prep, to which he'd transferred from Cheltenham, Peoples now does his speeding and fancy-footworking for 5-0 Archbishop Wood. And continues to do it well.
Despite a lingering left-quad twinge, dating back to the opener vs. Quakertown, Peoples has produced 678 yards of rushing and catching, along with 10 total touchdowns.
Rutgers and Pitt have already offered. Schools such as Connecticut, Virginia, UCLA, Oregon, Boston College, Florida and Texas A & M are trying to make inroads.
Peoples, whose Prep production included 1,343 yards and 90 points, appreciates the attention, naturally. Just don't expect him to turn verbal cartwheels.
When interviewing Desmon Peoples, one comes to realize very early in the process: This kid sees talking about himself as enjoyable as a trip to the dentist. For removals of multiple wisdom teeth.
"He's a great kid, but he doesn't say too much," coach Steve Devlin had noted beforehand. "Very quiet. A word or two at a time."
"I like to stay humble," Peoples said. "There's more to me than being an athlete. I like for people to know me personally, so that's why I don't talk about my accomplishments. I'm just a regular kid going to school, doing what every kid does.
"I've met some high school kids, guys getting lots of attention from colleges and they act . . . "
He thought for a moment, then blurted out, "Arrogant. I'd never want to be like that. If you're constantly talking about yourself, it makes it harder to be liked."
The mindset runs in the family. Desmon's father and uncle, Darrien and Charlie Peoples, starred at Abraham Lincoln and then in college - Kutztown and Indiana (Pa.), respectively. In fact, Darrien is about to be inducted into Kutztown's Hall of Fame. And perhaps has even told Desmon about that.
"They're not into bragging. They don't talk about their careers too much," Desmon said. "Only if I ask them to, pretty much.
"So far this season, my dad and I have only really talked football in terms of injuries. He said how you're constantly going to have them and how you have to play through them. He likes to say, 'Mind over matter. Don't even worry about them.' "
Peoples' blockers include center Brandon Arcidiacono, guards Chris Knott, Matt Masello and Fran Walsh (rotates in), tackles Frank Taylor and Mike Moffa and tight end Colin Thompson (and Nick Arcidiacono, depending on formations).
Oh, and Brandon Peoples as the part-time fullback. He's also a junior, Charles' son, and a transfer from Abington. (He starts at cornerback. Desmon sees spot duty there.)
"I decided to come here first, in August," Desmon said. "Then I talked to Brandon and my dad talked to his dad. We're very happy here. Everyone's accepting of us. They're all down-to-earth. Haven't had one problem."
Of his departure from SJ Prep, he kept it short: "I wasn't happy at that school. I didn't talk to many of the guys there. I never felt comfortable."
If Peoples, who also appreciates the support of his mother, Gladys, had remained at Cheltenham for the 2009 season, he was ticketed to start at quarterback. He does possess a quality arm, and more trick plays - both in and out of wildviking formations - might be in the offing now that he's completely healthy.
"I always looked at myself as a running back," he said. "But playing quarterback did help me become a more well-rounded athlete."
Devlin said some colleges see Peoples playing running back, while others envision him on the corner. And, yes, returning is also a possibility. A strong one, even.
"For a small kid, he's tough as nails," Devlin said. "There's so much to like about him."
Devlin's cell phone is darn near giving off sparks these days. Thompson (Pitt, Rutgers, Boston College) and Taylor (Pitt, BC) are other juniors with multiple offers. Among the seniors, linebacker-wideout Sam McCain and defensive tackle Brian Butler are receiving the most interest, primarily from I-AAs.
While attending SJ Prep, Desmon Peoples needed to rely on SEPTA. The Hawks practice at Belmont Plateau, off the Schuylkill Expressway not far from the zoo, and he usually did not arrive home until 7, or even 7:30.
Now he sports a license and can drive to school. In not quite a race car, however.
"It's an '01 Buick Park Avenue Ultra," he said. "It's kind of big."
Hey, as long as it gets him home in time for the thrills of horror movies and/or Speed Channel segments.