Adrian Lewis Peterson was born on 21 March, 1985 in Palestine, Texas. Nicknamed “A.D.” (for “All Day”) or “Purple Jesus”, is a professional American football running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). Adrian Peterson played college football as a running back for 3 years at the University of Oklahoma. At Oklahoma, Adrian Peterson set the NCAA freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards (as a true freshman). Adrian Peterson was a 1st team All-American, and he also set a freshman record by finishing as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Adrian Peterson finished as the school’s 3rd all-time leading rusher.
Adrian Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 7th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Coming into the league, he was known as a tall, upright runner possessing a rare combination of speed, strength, agility, size, and vision, along with a highly aggressive running style. Adrian Peterson’s rare talent as both a great breakaway and power runner has often raised comparisons to past legends, including Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, and Jim Brown. As a rookie in the NFL, he broke numerous franchise and league records for rushing yardage, the foremost being the NFL single-game rushing record when he ran for 296 yards on 30 carries on 4 November, 2007, against the San Diego Chargers. Following his stellar 1st pro season, Adrian Peterson was a near-unanimous choice as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. In the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl, Adrian Peterson rushed for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns, achieving the 2nd highest rushing total in Pro Bowl history. Adrian Peterson was awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl, which led to a 42-30 victory over the AFC.
Adrian Peterson has 1 daughter, Adeja. Adrian Peterson currently resides in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his brothers, Eldon, and Derrick Peterson.
Adrian Peterson was interested in football as a child as he began playing at the age of 7 and participated in the popular Pop Warner Football programme. Adrian Peterson continued his interest in athletics into high school where he competed in track and field, basketball, and football at Palestine High School. Adrian Peterson was most notable in football where he played during his junior and senior years. Adrian Peterson finished his 2002 campaign as a junior with 2,051 yards on 246 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry, and 22 touchdowns. As a senior in 2003, he rushed for 2,960 yards on 252 attempts, an average of 11.7 yards per carry, and 32 touchdowns. Concluding his high school football career at the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he led the West squad with 95 yards on 9 carries and scoring 2 touchdowns and announced at the game he would attend college at Oklahoma. Among his other choices of schools were the University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Arkansas, and University of Miami. Following the season, he was awarded the Hall Trophy as the Ball Park National High School Player of the Year. In addition, he was named the top high school player by College Football News and Rivals.com.
During his freshman season, Adrian Peterson broke many NCAA freshman rushing records, rushing for 1925 yards and leading the nation in carries with 339. Adrian Peterson was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, finishing 2nd to USC quarterback Matt Leinart, which was the highest finish ever for a freshman. Adrian Peterson was also a finalist for the Doak Walker Award. Among other honours include being the 1st Oklahoma freshman recognised as a 1st-Team Associated Press All-American. Adrian Peterson contributed to an undefeated season for the Oklahoma Sooners and participated in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game with a berth to the FedEx Orange Bowl.
Adrian Peterson’s playing time in 2005 was limited by a high ankle sprain. Adrian Peterson injured his ankle in the 1st Big 12 Conference game of the season against Kansas State University. Despite missing time in 4 games, he rushed for 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns on 220 carries, finishing 2nd in Big 12 rushing yardage. Adrian Peterson’s 2005 season was also notable for a career-long 84 yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State University. Upon the conclusion of the season, he was named a member of the All-Big 12 Conference team.
Nelson Peterson was released from prison during the 2006 college football season and was able to watch his son as a spectator for the 1st time on 14 October, 2006 when Oklahoma played Iowa State University. Oklahoma defeated Iowa State in that game, but Adrian Peterson broke his collar bone falling into the end zone to end a 53 yard touchdown run. During a press conference on 18 October, Adrian Peterson said he was told by doctors to expect to be out for 4 to 6 weeks. At the time of the injury, Adrian Peterson needed only 150 yards to gain to pass Billy Sims as the University of Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher. Adrian Peterson was unable to return for the rest of the Sooners regular season, but returned for the Sooners’ last game against Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, where he rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown. Adrian Peterson refused to discuss his plans beyond the end of this season with the press. Adrian Peterson concluded his college football career with 1,112 rushing yards his final season, even after missing multiple games due to injury for a total of 4,045 rushing yards (only 3 season). Adrian Peterson was 73 yards short of passing Billy Sims as Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher.
Awards And Honours
Hall Trophy (2003)
First-team AP All-Freshman (2004)
First-team AP All-American (2004)
Doak Walker Award finalist (2004)
Heisman Trophy finalist (2004)
On 15 January, 2007, Adrian Peterson declared that he would forego his senior year of college and enter the 2007 NFL Draft. Concerns about his injuries suffered during college were noted by the media and potential NFL teams. Adrian Peterson started 22 out of 31 games in his college career and missed games due to a dislocated shoulder his 1st year, a high ankle sprain his sophomore year, and a broken collarbone his final year at Oklahoma. Adrian Peterson’s durability was a consideration by at least 2 teams in their draft analysis, which impacted selection position. Prior to the 2007NFL Draft, Adrian Peterson was compared by professional football scouts to Eric Dickerson. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. said of Peterson, “You can make the argument,[Peterson]is the best player in this draft, if not, certainly 1 of the top 3.”
On 28 April, 2007, Adrian Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 7th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Adrian Peterson was the 1st running back selected in that year’s draft. At a press conference during the draft, Adrian Peterson announced, “My collarbone, I would say it’s 90% healed. A lot of teams know that, and I don’t see it stopping me from being prepared for the season.”
After being drafted by the Vikings, there was speculation that Adrian Peterson would require surgery to fully heal the collarbone injury he suffered during college, but it was soon learned that was not the case.
Adrian Peterson believes he is a player that a franchise can build around. In an interview with IGN following the NFL Draft, he said, “I’m a player who is coming in with the determination to turn a team around. I want to help my team get to the playoffs, win…and run wild. I want to bring people to the stands. I want people to come to the game to see what I can do next. Things like that can change the whole attitude of an organisation. I want to win.” Adrian Peterson later told the Star Tribune in an interview, “I want to be the best player to ever play this game.”
Nearly 3 months after being drafted, he was signed by the Vikings on 29 July, 2007. Adrian Peterson’s contract is worth US$40.5,000,000 over 5 years, with $17,000,000 guaranteed.
Adrian Peterson’s outstanding rookie season began with high expectations from Adrian Peterson himself; he announced ambitious goals including being named Offensive Rookie of the Year, rushing for 1,800 yards during the course of the year, and breaking the league’s rookie rushing record just as he broke the freshman rushing record during his 1st season at Oklahoma. The NFL’s rushing record for a rookie is currently held by Eric Dickerson at 1,808 yards. Just 11 weeks into his rookie season with the Vikings, Adrian Peterson was well on his way to Eric Dickerson’s record and considered one of the elite running backs in the NFL.
On 10 August, Adrian Peterson made his Minnesota Vikings debut in a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams. Adrian Peterson ran for 33 yards on 11 carries with 1 catch for 2 yards. On 9 September, 2007, Adrian Peterson ran for 103 yards on 19carries in his 1st NFL regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons. In addition to his rushing yardage, he scored his 1st professional football touchdown on a 60 yard pass reception. Over his 1st 3 regular season games, his 431 yards (271 rushing & 160 receiving) from scrimmage are a team record. For his performance during the 3 games, Adrian Peterson received the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month award for both September and October 2007.
Adrian Peterson’s breakout game as a professional came on 14 October, 2007 against the Chicago Bears, highlighted by a 3 touchdown performance and a then franchise record of 224 yards rushing on 20 carries. Adrian Peterson established additional team records for a rookie during this game, which included the most 100-yard games rushing and the longest touchdown run from scrimmage. Adrian Peterson also set an NFL rookie record with 361 all-purpose yards in a single game. Adrian Peterson’s 607 rushing yards through the 1st 5 games of the season is 2nd in NFL history to Eric Dickerson. Following Adrian Peterson’s record performance, Deion Sanders, now an NFL Network analyst said the following about Adrian Peterson: “He has the vision of a Marshall Faulk, the power of an Earl Campbell, and the speed of an Eric Dickerson. Let’s pray he has the endurance of an Emmitt Smith.” Adrian Peterson has also been compared to Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett by Star Tribune sports journalist Jim Souhan.
3 weeks later on 4 November, 2007, Adrian Peterson broke his own franchise record as well as the NFL single game rushing yard record previously held by Jamal Lewis since 2003 when he rushed for 296 yards on 30 carries and 3 touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers. That game was his 2nd game of over 200 yards rushing, a feat no other rookie has ever accomplished in a season. In addition to the NFL rushing record in a single game, it took him past 1,000 yards rushing for the year after just 8 games. Adrian Peterson’s 1,036 rushing yards represents the best 8-game performance by a rookie in NFL history.
On 11 November, 2007, just a week after his record-breaking performance against the Chargers, Adrian Peterson injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in a game against the Green Bay Packers. The injury occurred in the 3rd quarter of a 34-0 defeat at Lambeau Field on a low, yet clean tackle by Packers cornerback Al Harris. Almost a month after the injury, Adrian Peterson returned to action on 2 December, 2007 against the Detroit Lions scoring 2 touchdowns and rushing for 116 yards. On 17 December Adrian Peterson played in his 1st Monday Night Football game where he had 78 yards rushing, 17 yards receiving and 2 TDs. The next day Adrian Peterson was named as the starting running back for the 2008 NFC Pro Bowl team. On 2 January, he was named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
On 10 February, 2008, Adrian Peterson won the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl MVP award with 16 carries for 129 yards rushing along with 2 touchdowns. The 129 yards rushing was the 2nd most in Pro Bowl history. Adrian Peterson was the 1st rookie since Marshall Faulk in 1995 to win the Pro Bowl MVP award.
Adrian Peterson finished in 2nd place in rushing yards (1341)in the 2007 season behind LaDainian Tomlinson, who finished with (1474) rushing yards.
Adrian Peterson and the Vikings entered the 2008 season with high expectations and as he did during his rookie season, Adrian Peterson set high goals for himself including a 2000-yard campaign and the NFL MVP award. Questions remained as to Adrian Peterson’s durability and the ability of the Vikings offense to take the focus of opposing defenses off of Adrian Peterson. In the 1st game of the season against the Packers, Adrian Peterson ran for 103 yards on 19 carries and a TD, including 1 reception for 11 yards. In week 2 against the Colts, Adrian Peterson had 29 carries for 160 yards and 4 receptions for 20 yards. Against Carolina in week 3 Adrian Peterson ran for 77 yards on 17 carries. In week 4 Adrianh Peterson ran the ball 18 times for 80 yards and 2 TDs against the Titans. Adrian Peterson also had 4 catches 21 yards. Against New Orleans he ran for a dismal 32 yards on 21 yards and 9 yards on a catch. Week 6 against Detroit Adrian ran for 111 yards on 25 carries and 1catch for -5 yards, but he had 2 vital fumbles that almost lost them the game. Adrian Peterson currently ranks 3rd in the NFL in rushing and 6th in yards from scrimmage.
Most 200-yard rushing games for a rookie (2)
Most yards rushing in the first eight games (1,036)
Most yards rushing in a single game (296)
2008 NFL Pro Bowl MVP
2007 NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year
2007 Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year
Two 2007 Player of the Month awards
2008 Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award
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