You can forgive James Madison freshman Peter Rose if he was a little anxious Wednesday, considering it was his first football practice in more than a year.
But that's not all JMU's coaches and administration, are willing to forgive.
"We had investigated very thoroughly the situation with Peter," says head coach Mickey Matthews. "And unless I'm mistaken, this is America, where you're allowed to get a second chance."
In 2007, Rose was the Virginia AA State Player of the Year at Amherst. A three-star recruit according to Rivals, Rose had accepted a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech.
But Virginia Tech pulled that offer in May 2008, when Rose was arrested for selling drugs to an undercover cop.
Rose had two felony convictions set aside this past April, opening the door for JMU's recruitment.
"Amherst has been coming to our football camp, so we've been very aware of him growing up, and thought he was just a kid who made a small mistake," says Matthews.
Rose, whose older brother Jonathan is a sophomore safety at JMU, spent the first two days of preseason camp watching, and waiting for his application to the school to be formally accepted.
That happened Wednesday afternoon, and within an hour, Rose was on the practice field working with the safeties.
Matthews wouldn't allow Rose to talk to WHSV Wednesday. But the coach says he's ready for any backlash, such as people who think Rose committed more than just a "small mistake."
"We could be second-guessed. But I'm second-guessed when we go for it on fourth down, so I'm not concerned about that," says Matthews with a smile.
"He's just a skinny-legged 18-year-old kid who needs a second chance," adds Matthews. "He's very humbled by the whole thing. And we're looking forward to him having a great career here at JMU, and making a strong contribution to our institution."