Adrian Peterson never asked for any of this.
Peterson, the Heisman Trophy candidate from Oklahoma, has faced more than his fair share of trials and tribulations.
Growing up, Adrian’s father Nelson Peterson coached his son’s peewee football team in their hometown of Palestine, Texas. Nelson earned a living working at a Wal-Mart warehouse, but hidden from his family, he also ran a large crack cocaine trafficking operation that eventually led to his arrest in 1998.
Nelson never saw his son play high school football, and missed almost Adrian’s entire college career as well.
Coming out of high school, Adrian was regarded by some scouts as not only the top recruit in his class, but also one of the top recruits of the past decade. As a freshman at Oklahoma, Peterson broke so many NCAA freshman records that he finished second in that year’s Heisman voting to University of Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart. It was the highest finish ever by a freshman.
In his sophomore year of 2005, however, Peterson fell victim to some nagging injuries, which left him 119 carries and 817 yards short of his freshman year production. Instead of attending the Heisman ceremony that year, Peterson watched from his home kitchen as USC running back Reggie Bush accepted the award.
Bound and determined to erase his sophomore season and get back to leading the Sooners to greatness, Peterson took off in 2006. He was on pace to eclipse not only his freshman yardage numbers, but also his first-year touchdown numbers. But on the most unlikely of days, Peterson once again found that life could turn on you at the drop of a hat.
With his father Nelson out of prison and watching his son play for the first time in more than eight years, Adrian rushed for 183 yards and two touchdowns in an October game against Iowa State. On his second touchdown run, however, Adrian broke his collarbone as he dove for the end zone. The prognosis was that Adrian would miss the rest of his junior season.
Through all of life’s setbacks however, Adrian Peterson vowed to once again bounce back. And bounce back he did, fully recovering from the injury in time to play in Oklahoma’s thrilling 43-42 loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. Peterson rushed for only 77 yards on 20 carries in that game, but the stats don’t matter as much as the journey he had to travel just to play in the contest.
Peterson decided to not return for his senior season at Oklahoma, instead declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft. He was selected seventh overall by the Minnesota Vikings and once again is set to take the road less traveled to super stardom in the NFL.
In his rookie season, Peterson rushed for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and already has some pundits comparing him to Jim Brown.
Information sites on Peterson
Minnesota Vikings Official Player Profile: Adrian Peterson
Find a brief bio and college highlights on Peterson at the Minnesota Vikings Official Website.
NFL.com Player Profile: Adrian Peterson
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on Adrian Peterson at NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Adrian Peterson
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Adrian Peterson for your fantasy football team.
Adrian Peterson Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Adrian Peterson's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Unofficial fan website for Adrian Peterson
Unofficial fan Web site dedicated to Adrian Peterson’s career at Oklahoma and now in Minnesota.
Latest on Peterson
Peterson had an absolute monstrous rookie season. Not only did he finish the year with 1,341 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, he also took home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Just think, if he hadn’t missed two games during the season with an injury, his numbers might have been even more impressive. If he can stay healthy, the Vikings will have a franchise back for years to come.
Digging up Adrian Peterson on the web
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is top offensive rookie
Adrian Peterson won the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2007.
Peterson gets his feet under him
The AJC decides that Adrian Peterson is already prepared for NFL primetime.
Adrian Peterson is a beast
AOL Sports' JJ Cooper loves what he sees out of the Vikings' Adrian Peterson.
A Sooner for the better
Turning aside concerns about injuries and style, the Vikings make Adrian Peterson their top pick in the ’07 NFL Draft.
On his first NFL touchdown:
"It was a great call by the coach. It felt good. I've got the ball. I'll frame it and put it in my house."
"When I finally got the ball in my hands and tucked it and looked upfield and saw Sidney making a great block, I basically just cut off him and saw nothing but green grass," Peterson said. "So then it was off to the races."
On being a leader:
“I am starting to realize that a lot of guys look up to me, ... Older guys, and even younger guys, are asking me questions and [they] ask me about how to handle situations. I'm young, but that leadership role has been on me so I need to live up to it.”
On his receiving skills:
“I can catch the ball. You've got to throw it to me.”