2009 (Senior): A returning starter last season who was expected to start at left guard in 2008, Petrus received a redshirt and now returns for his senior season. A second-team All-SEC selection in 2007, he was a pre-season second-team All-SEC pick last year. He began spring drills listed as the starter at left guard, but goes into fall camp as the starter at right guard. For his career, the former fullback has seen action in 36 games with 12 starts.
2008 (Redshirt): Redshirted.
2007 (Junior): He moved from fullback to guard prior to the season and played in all 13 games with 12 starts. The only game he did not start was the Chattanooga contest. He earned second-team All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches and was a third-team pick by Phil Steele’s College Football. He cleared the way for two All-American running backs – Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden, who led the SEC and ranked fourth in the nation in rushing (140.8), and Felix Jones, who ranked fifth in the SEC and No. 43 in the country (89.4). His overall grade for the year was 83.4, including a grade of 96.3 on passing plays. His 54 knockdown blocks were third only to Nate Garner’s 62 and Jonathan Luigs’ 55. – Petrus, in his first career start, played left guard in the season opener against Troy. He blocked the way for McFadden and Jones to record 100-yard performances and Casey Dick to throw for more than 100 yards. Against Alabama, he played 78 snaps at left guard with a 100 percent pass block grade. Arkansas racked up 450 yards of total offense, including 301 yards rushing. McFadden recorded the 14th 100-yard rushing game of his career (195) and Jones ran for 96 yards. He also tallied six knockdown blocks. The offensive line protected Dick and did not give up a sack. He played 78 snaps against Kentucky with an 86 percent pass block grade. He also tallied six knockdown blocks. He blocked the way for McFadden and Jones to record 100-yard rushing performances. At right tackle against North Texas, he blocked the way for the Razorbacks to gain more than 700 yards of offense. He played 53 snaps against the Mean Green with an 83 percent run block grade, a 95 percent pass block grade and an 88 percent total block grade and three knockdown blocks. Playing as a reserve left guard against Chattanooga, Petrus had a run block grade of 90 percent, a pass block grade of 100 percent and a total block grade of 92 percent. He also tallied three knockdown blocks. The offensive line blocked the way for McFadden and Jones to record 100-yard rushing performances. Back at starting left guard, he played 54 snaps against Auburn with an 83 percent total block grade and a 93 percent pass block grade. He also notched three knockdown blocks. Against Ole Miss, the offensive line blocked for four passing touchdowns, 12-of-18 and 144 yards for the quarterbacks and for McFadden and Jones to eclipse the 100-yard mark. Petrus recorded grades of 82 percent blocking the run, 100 percent blocking the pass and 87 percent overall. He also had three knockdown blocks. At left guard against FIU, Petrus had one knockdown block, graded out at 100 percent for the pass and 80 percent total. In the South Carolina game, he recorded 14 knockdown blocks while earning an 84 percent run block grade, a 100 percent pass block grade and a total grade of 86 percent. He blocked the way for Arkansas’ 650 yards of offense, including 542 yards on the ground, and four rushing TDs, and was named the SEC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week. Petrus graded out at 80 percent for a total block grade while recording one knockdown block against Tennessee. Recording seven knockdown blocks, he had grades of 83 percent run blocking, 94 pass blocking and 87 percent total against Mississippi State. The offensive line blocked for 429 yards of offense and five passing touchdowns. Against No. 1 LSU, the offensive line blocked for over 500 yards of offense and seven touchdowns.
2006 (Sophomore): He reported to Arkansas as a candidate for the offensive line. His sophomore season saw him take on a new role on the Razorbacks’ offense. Petrus moved to fullback and was one of the Hogs’ most effective blockers out of the backfield and on special teams. He appeared in all 14 games logging time as a blocking back and on the kickoff return and PAT/field goal units. He helped clear the way for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers (Darren McFadden and Felix Jones) and the 2006 Doak Walker Award winner (McFadden). Perhaps his best play of the season came on a kickoff return when he made the final block to spring Jones for a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Ole Miss. He earned one rushing attempt on the season and gained a yard against Southeast Missouri State. – Petrus played in the season opener against No. 6 USC. He didn’t earn a carry, but played on special teams. He appeared in Arkansas’ 20-0 win over Utah State earning snaps at fullback and on special teams. He logged several snaps in the UA backfield leading the way for McFadden and Jones against Vanderbilt. He also played on special teams against the Commodores. He saw time at fullback and helped McFadden rack up a 100-yard rushing game against No. 22 Alabama. Petrus was utilized as a blocking back in addition to his regular role on special teams against the Crimson Tide. He provided some key blocks as Arkansas racked up 279 yards rushing against No. 2 Auburn. The Razorbacks had two 100-yard rushers (McFadden and Jones) in the game. He was a key blocker in helping the Hogs earn 381 yards rushing in a win over Southeast Missouri State. He cleared the way for 100-yard rushing efforts by Michael Smith and Jones. Petrus also earned his first career carry against the Redhawks, netting one yard in the fourth quarter. He played in the offensive backfield and on special teams in the Razorbacks’ home win over Ole Miss. He provided the final key block on Jones’ 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the game’s opening kickoff. He helped clear the way for 331 yards rushing in Arkansas’ 44-10 win over Louisiana-Monroe. Petrus helped the Hogs rush for 267 yards in limited action at fullback. He was instrumental in blocking for Arkansas’ vaunted rushing attack in the Hogs’ win over No. 13 Tennessee. Arkansas racked up 259 yards rushing, including 181 from McFadden, in the win. He was Arkansas’ first fullback on the field in the Razorbacks’ win over Mississippi State. Petrus was taking the place of an injured Hillis. He was used as a blocker in the offensive backfield and on special teams against No. 9 LSU. Petrus contributed to the Razorbacks’ total of 298 yards rushing including 182 by McFadden and 137 by Jones. He saw time as a blocking back and on special teams in the SEC Championship Game against No. 4 Florida and in the Capital One Bowl against No. 7 Wisconsin.
2005 (Freshman): He played in nine games for the Razorbacks as a member of the kickoff return team and a reserve tight end and offensive guard. He didn’t play in the first two games of the season against Missouri State and Vanderbilt, but appeared in each of the nine games that followed. His first experience at offensive guard came in the Louisiana-Monroe game when he logged 12 snaps at his new position. He graded-out at a team-high 91 percent including 88 percent on running plays and 100 percent on passing plays. He tallied three knockdown blocks in his limited stint against the Indians. His other significant playing time on the offensive front came in the Razorbacks’ win over Mississippi State. He played 32 snaps, carding a grade of 81 percent.
Personal: Born May 11, 1987, he is the son of Phil and Sue Petrus. He is enrolled in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and is majoring in agricultural business.
High School: He earned letters as a tight end and fullback under Coach Jamie Jones at Carlisle High School. He also played linebacker and earned the AA Conference Lineman of the Year Award. He was honored as an all-conference and all-state performer. As a tight end, he hauled in 40 receptions for 750 yards and eight touchdowns. During his junior campaign, he broke the state record for tackles in a game with 39. He recorded 306 tackles, including 145 solo tackles, his senior year and led the state. He also lettered in basketball and track and was an all-conference and all-state performer in basketball.
A coordinated athlete who pivots out of his stance well, Petrus is very natural pulling around the line of scrimmage and reaching the second level. Possesses great body control and does a nice job breaking down in space and eliminating a moving target. Is a violent cut blocker who does a great job getting into opponents' bodies and eliminating them from the play. Showcases natural balance on slide-down blocks and makes it difficult for opposing defensive linemen to disengage. Displays the flexibility to drop his pad level in pass protection and gain initial leverage on contact. Relies on his technique and quickness in all areas of his game and lacks the overall girth and base strength to overpower defenders on contact. But Petrus looks like an ideal starting guard in a zone-blocking scheme at the next level.