Adrian Peterson - Wiki Article

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Adrian Peterson This article is about the Minnesota Vikings running back. For the former
Chicago Bears running back, see Adrian N. Peterson. class="" style="text-align:center; white-space: nowrap"> Career information class=""> High school: Palestine
(TX) College: Oklahoma NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7 class="" style="text-align:center; line-height: 1.2em;">Debuted in 2007 for the Minnesota
Career history Minnesota Vikings (2007–present) Peterson played college football for the University
of Oklahoma, and set the NCAA freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards as a true freshman
during the 2004 season. As a unanimous first-team All-American, he became the first freshman
to finish as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting behind USC quarterback Matt
Leinart. Peterson finished his college football career as the Sooners' third all-time leading
rusher. Following his stellar first pro season in which he set an NFL record for most rushing
yards in a single game (296), Peterson was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
He was then awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl and became only
the fifth player in NFL history to have more than 3,000 yards through his first two seasons.
In 2010, he became the fifth fastest player to run for 5,000 yards, doing so in his 51st
game. Currently, Peterson has the fourth highest average rushing yards per game total in NFL
history (min. 50 games) with an average of 92.5, trailing Jim Brown (104.3), Barry Sanders
(99.8) and Terrell Davis (97.5). Early years Born in Palestine, Texas, to Bonita Brown
and Nelson Peterson, who were also star athletes in college. His father was a shooting guard
for Idaho State, however, his dream of an NBA career was derailed when a gun that his
brother was cleaning discharged into his leg. His mother, a three time Texas state champion
at Westwood High School, attended the University of Houston on an athletic scholarship and
was a sprinter and long jumper. Peterson's best friend was his older brother, Brian.
Adrian was nicknamed "All Day," which was later shortened to A.D., by his father because
he was a hyperactive kid. When he was seven, he saw his older brother, Brian, 9, killed
by a drunken driver, as he rode his bicycle. It was around that time that Peterson began
to deal with his pain through sports and became interested in football; he began playing at
the age of 7. He was the star of the Pee Wee football team coached by his father and played
in the popular Pop Warner Football program when he was twelve. When Peterson was thirteen,
his father was arrested for laundering money for a crack cocaine ring. Peterson continued
his interest in athletics into high school, where he competed in track and field, posting
a wind-assisted time of 10.33 seconds in the 100 meters, basketball, and football at Palestine
High School. Peterson was most notable in football, which he played during his junior
and senior years. During his sophomore year, he was not eligible to play for the Palestine
High varsity football team. Peterson's 2002–2003 campaign as a junior ended with 2,051 yards
on 246 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry, and 22 touchdowns. It was during his
junior year that he began to attract the attention of Division I recruiters and realized he would
likely have his pick of colleges after his senior year. As a senior in 2003–2004, he
rushed for 2,960 yards on 252 attempts, an average of 11.7 yards per carry, and 32 touchdowns.
After a game, players from the other team asked for his autograph. Following Maurice
Clarett's unsuccessful attempt to sue the NFL over its age limit in 2004, there was
considerable debate over whether any high school football player might be able to make
the leap from the preps to the pro game. The player most frequently mentioned was Peterson.
After considering schools such as Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Arkansas, and Miami, he decided
that he wanted to go to a school where he could be a difference-maker in a national
championship run and narrowed his choices down to USC and Oklahoma. 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 scored 2 touchdowns, and announced at the game that he would attend
college at Oklahoma. Following the season, he was awarded the Hall Trophy as the U.S.
Army National Player of the Year. In addition, he was named the top high school player by
College Football News and College career Peterson attended the University of
Oklahoma, where he played for coach Bob Stoops' Oklahoma Sooners football team from 2004 to
2006. During his freshman season at Oklahoma, Peterson broke several NCAA freshman rushing
records, rushing for 1,925 yards and leading the nation in carries with 339. In the first
nine games of the season, he rushed for more than 100-yards, which is a freshman record.
He rushed for 100 yards in the season opener against Bowling Green, 117 yards against Houston,
183 yards against Oregon, 146 yards against Texas Tech, 225 yards against Texas, 130 yards
against Kansas State, and 122 yards against Kansas. Against Oklahoma State on October
30, 2004, Peterson had an 80-yard touchdown run and rushed for 161 yards in the third
quarter, finishing with a career-high 249 yards. Despite dislocating his left shoulder
in the first half, he managed to run for 101 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, his ninth
straight 100-yard game, against Texas A&M. In the next game, he saw little action because
of his shoulder injury and finished with 58 yards, which ended his streak of consecutive
games with at least 100 yards rushing at 9. In a game versus Baylor, Peterson ran for
240 yards, including three second-half touchdowns, and set the NCAA record for most 100-yard
games by a freshman with 11 against Colorado. Oklahoma, who were one of the poorest rushing
teams the year before, became one of the nation’s best. Despite his record-breaking season,
he finished second to USC quarterback Matt Leinart in the Heisman Trophy voting, which
was the highest finish ever for a freshman. Among other honors, he was a finalist for
the Doak Walker Award, and the first Oklahoma freshman recognized as a First-Team Associated
Press All-American. Peterson contributed to a perfect regular season for the Oklahoma
Sooners and participated in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game with a berth to the 2005
Orange Bowl against USC Trojans. USC retooled their defense to stop Peterson and limited
him to just 82 yards, as the Trojans defeated the Sooners, 55-19. USC later vacated the
win due to NCAA infractions. After the season, he had surgery on his left shoulder to strengthen
the muscles around the joint. In 2005, Peterson's playing time was limited by a high ankle sprain.
He injured his ankle in the first Big 12 Conference game of the season against Kansas State University.
Despite missing time in four games, he rushed for 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns on 220 carries,
finishing second in Big 12 rushing yardage. His 2005 season was also notable for a career-long
84-yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State University. Oklahoma finished the season with
an 8–4 record, the worst season since 1999. They finished third in the Big 12 behind the
Texas Longhorns and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Sooners would represent the Big 12 in
the Holiday Bowl where they defeated the sixth-ranked Oregon Ducks, 17–14. On July 11, 2007 the
NCAA announced the Sooners would have to vacate all victories from the 2005 season, including
the bowl game, due to NCAA violations. Upon the conclusion of the season, he was named
a member of the All-Big 12 Conference team. Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, was released
from prison during the 2006 college football season and was able to watch his son as a
spectator for the first time on October 14, 2006, when Oklahoma played Iowa State University.
Oklahoma defeated Iowa State in that game, however, on the final drive for the Sooners,
Peterson broke his collar bone when he attempted to dive into the end zone on a 53-yard touchdown
run. During a press conference on October 18, Peterson said he was told by doctors to
expect to be out for 4–6 weeks. At the time of the injury, Peterson needed only to gain
150 yards to pass Billy Sims as the University of Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher. He
was unable to return for the rest of the Sooners' regular season and missed seven games. The
Sooners would turn to Allen Patrick, a junior, and Chris Brown, a freshman to replace Peterson.
The team went on a seven game winning streak including winning the Big 12 Championship
game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He returned for their last game against Boise
State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, where he rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown. He refused
to discuss his plans beyond the end of this season with the press. He 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 seasons). He was 73 yards short
of passing Billy Sims as Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher. Hall Trophy (2004) First-team
AP All-Freshman (2004) Unanimous first-team All-American (2004) Doak Walker Award finalist
(2004) Heisman Trophy finalist (2004) Jim Brown Trophy winner (2004) Sports Illustrated
All-Decade Team (2009). Professional career On January 15, 2007, Peterson declared that
he would forego his senior year of college and enter 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. His
rare talent as both a great breakaway and power runner has often raised comparisons
to past legends, including Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, O. J. Simpson,
Franco Harris and Jim Brown. Concerns about his injuries suffered during college were
noted by the media and potential NFL teams. He started 22 out of 31 games in his college
career and had a dislocated shoulder his first year (although he did not miss any games),
a high ankle sprain his sophomore year, and a broken collarbone his final year at Oklahoma.
His durability was a consideration for at least two teams in their draft analysis, which
impacted selection position. Prior to the 2007 NFL Draft, 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
one of the top three." On April 28, 2007, Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings
with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Peterson was
the first running back selected in that year's draft. At a press conference during the draft,
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." Peterson believed
he was a player that a franchise could 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 organization. I want to win." He later
told the Star Tribune in an interview, "I want to be the best player to ever play this
game." Nearly three months after being drafted, he was signed by the Vikings on July 29, 2007.
His contract was worth US$40.5 million over six years, with $17 million guaranteed. Peterson
began his outstanding rookie season with high expectations for himself; he announced ambitious
goals including being named Offensive Rookie of the Year and rushing for over 1,300 yards
during the course of the year. The NFL's rushing record for a rookie was formerly held by Eric
Dickerson at 1,808 yards. Just 11 weeks into his rookie season with the Vikings, Peterson
was well on his way to Dickerson's record and considered one of the elite running backs
in the NFL. On August 10, Peterson made his Minnesota Vikings debut in a preseason game
against the St. Louis Rams. Peterson ran for 33 yards on 11 carries with 1 catch for
2 yards. On September 9, 2007, Peterson ran for 103 yards on 19 carries in his first
NFL regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons. In addition to his rushing yardage,
he scored his first professional football touchdown on a 60-yard pass reception. Over
his first three regular season games, his 431 yards (271 rushing & 160 receiving)
from scrimmage are a team record. For his performance during the three games, Peterson
received the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month award for both September and October 2007.
His breakout game as a professional came on October 14, 2007 against the Chicago Bears,
highlighted by a three-touchdown performance and a then-franchise record of 224 yards
rushing on 20 carries. 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. He also set an NFL rookie record with 361 all-purpose yards in a single
game. His 607 rushing yards through the first five games of the season is second in NFL
history to Eric Dickerson. Following Peterson's record performance, Deion Sanders, now an
NFL Network analyst, said about him: "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." He has also been compared to Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett by Star
Tribune sports journalist Jim Souhan. Three weeks later, on November 4, 2007, 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 in a home game in Minneapolis. That game was his second 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 eight games. His 1,036 rushing yards represents the best
eight-game performance by a rookie in NFL history. In honor of Peterson's record-breaking
performance against the San Diego Chargers, the jersey he wore that night was sent to
the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On November 11, 2007, just a week later, Peterson injured
the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in a game against the Green Bay Packers.
The injury occurred in the third quarter of a 34–0 defeat at Lambeau Field on a low
tackle by Packers cornerback Al Harris. Almost a month after the injury, Peterson returned
to action on December 2, 2007 against the Detroit Lions scoring 2 touchdowns and rushing
for 116 yards. On December 17, Peterson played in his first Monday Night Football game, where
he had 78 yards rushing, 17 yards receiving and 2 TDs. The next day he was named as the
starting running back for the 2008 NFC Pro Bowl team. On January 2, he was named The
Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. On February 10, 2008, 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. He was the first rookie
since Marshall Faulk in 1994 to win the Pro Bowl MVP award. Peterson and Faulk are currently
the only NFL players to win both the NFL Pro Bowl MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in
the same year. Peterson finished in second place in rushing yards (1341) in the 2007
season behind LaDainian Tomlinson, who finished with 1474 rushing yards. Peterson and the
Vikings entered the 2008 season with high expectations and as he did during his rookie
season, Peterson set high goals for himself including a 2,000-yard campaign and the NFL
MVP award. Questions remained as to Peterson's durability and the ability of the Vikings
offense to take the focus of opposing defenses off Peterson. Peterson and the Vikings began
the season with a 24–19 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He finished with 103 yards on
19 carries along with a touchdown. In the following loss to the Indianapolis Colts,
Peterson rushed for a then season-high 160 yards on 29 carries, and also recorded 4 receptions
for 20 yards. However, Peterson was held to 77 yards on 17 carries and no score in their
20–10 win against the Carolina Panthers, partly because of a hamstring injury suffered
the previous week. In the next game, a loss to Tennessee, Peterson rushed 18 times for
80 yards and scored 2 touchdowns along with 4 receptions for 21 yards. In the 30–27
win over the New Orleans Saints, Peterson was held to 32 yards on 21 carries, a 1.5
average. Against the Detroit Lions in the following week, Peterson rushed 25 times for
111 yards, but lost 2 fumbles. However, Peterson bounced back from the fumbles the following
week against the Bears, totaling 22 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. Following
a bye week, Peterson rushed 25 times for 139 yards and a touchdown in a victory over Houston.
The contest marked the third straight 100-yard rushing game for Peterson and the Vikings.
As of week 8, Peterson was second in the NFL in rushing yards with 823 yards, 172 yards
behind Clinton Portis. In week 10, on Sunday, November 9, Peterson played in a victory against
the Green Bay Packers 28–27. He had 30 carries for 192 yards. His longest run was 29 yards;
the run was the game-winning touchdown. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry and also had
3 receptions. Peterson's stellar performance put him in the top spot for rushing yards
this season, with 1015 yards. Week 11 saw the Minnesota Vikings (5–4) at the Tampa
Bay Buccaneers (6–3). Tampa Bay was coming off a bye week and was a notoriously difficult
team to run against. Peterson was limited to 85 yards on just 19 carries, as the Vikings
struggled to produce offense. In Week 12 Peterson was benched the first two offensive series
vs. the Jaguars for being late to a team meeting, although he did amass 80 rushing yards and
a TD. At the end of Week 12, Peterson became the NFL league leader for rushing yards again
with 1,311 yards. Following Week 16, Peterson had 1,657 yards which led the league, and
it was announced on December 18, Peterson would be the starting running back for the
NFC Pro Bowl team. In his final regular season game in 2008, Peterson ran for 103 yards 21
carries, including a 67 yard touchdown run. Peterson finished the season leading the league
in rushing with 1,760 yards, which marks the third-most yards in a sophomore season behind
Eric Dickerson's 2,105 yard season, and Chris Johnson's 2,006-yard season one year later.
In Peterson's first 30 games he had 3,101 yards, which marks the 3rd best start to a
career for running backs behind Eric Dickerson with 3,600 yards and Jim Brown with 3,144
yards. He became the fourth running back to lead the league in yards per game in his first
two seasons along with Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, and Eric Dickerson. On January 14, 2009, Peterson
was named to his second AP All-Pro team in two years. Prior to the start of the 2009
season, analysts of both the NFL Network and ESPN unanimously named Peterson the best running
back in the NFL today. However, the arrival of Brett Favre, one of the greatest quarterbacks
in NFL history, coming out of retirement brought both expectation and speculation about Peterson's
new role in the offense. Head Coach Brad Childress, however, stated that he wanted to continue
leaning on Peterson, giving him a large number of carries. Favre worked well into the offense
through the first half of the season, re-establishing Peterson's ability with a passing attack.
Peterson had 917 rushing yards through week 10, while the Vikings had a record of 8–1.
Peterson opened the season by rushing for 180 yards on 25 carries and 3 touchdowns against
the Cleveland Browns, setting a new Vikings franchise record for opening day rushing.
He again broke the hundred-yard barrier in week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens, with
143 yards and 22 carries. His next 100-yard effort came against the Lions, with 133 yards
on 18 carries, and he was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Week. In the playoffs,
Minnesota won against the Dallas Cowboys 34–3 but then lost to the Saints in an overtime
thriller 31–28. Peterson rushed for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns. Peterson finished
the year fifth in rushing and lost Fed-Ex Ground player of the year to Chris Johnson
who had over 2,000 yards rushing on the 2009 season. Peterson was voted to the Pro Bowl
December 29 as the starting RB for the NFC team. Peterson opened strongly in 2010, with
392 yards and 3 touchdowns through the first 3 weeks. In week 6, he went over the 5,000
yard career rushing mark against the Dallas Cowboys. At week 7, Peterson was second in
the league with 684 yards, averaging 114 yards per game, but the Vikings had dropped to a
disappointing mark of 2–4. By Week 16, Peterson had rushed for 1,267 yards with 12 touchdowns,
as the Vikings improved to a 6–9 record. Peterson, who was infamous for fumbling the
ball in previous seasons, had a dramatic change in the 2010 season with only one fumble during
the regular season, a remarkable turnaround from his previous performances. While the
Vikings missed the playoffs, Peterson represented his team in the Pro Bowl. Peterson thus far
has been selected to the Pro Bowl every year he has played in the NFL. During the game,
Peterson contributed 80 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 55-41 NFC win. After the
season, Adrian Peterson was voted the # 1 running back and # 3 player overall on NFL
Network's list of the Top 100 Players of 2011 as selected exclusively by NFL players. Peterson
forced 53 missed tackles and 877 yards after contact only carrying the football 283 times,
proving why he is the best back in the league today. According to, Peterson is ranked
as the third best player in the NFL for the 2011 season, behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
On September 10, 2011 the Vikings signed Peterson for $96 million dollars over the course of
seven seasons, making him the highest paid running back in NFL history. Peterson reached
the 6,000 yard milestone on September 18, 2011 in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On October 9, Peterson scored three touchdowns in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals,
setting a new franchise record. He would later earn NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors
for his performance during the game. In a week 10 contest against the Oakland Raiders,
Adrian suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first quarter, he was then later ruled
out for their week 11 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. On December 24, 2011, Peterson
was injured and helped off the field in a 33-26 victory over the Washington Redskins.
He was placed onto injured reserve due to a torn ACL and MCL on December 26, 2011. For
the first time in his career, Peterson failed to record a 1,000-yard season after playing
only 12 games during the year. Peterson was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform
list for the season opener. He was rushed to the hospital due to allergic reaction to
seafood in jambalaya, a dish he has eaten often in the past. Peterson was taken off
the PUP list on August 12. 2007 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year 2007 Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie
of the Year 2007 Second-Team All-Pro 2007 Pro Bowl MVP 2007 Pro Bowl 2008 Pro Bowl 2008
Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award 2008 Rushing Title (1760 yards) 2008 First-Team
All-Pro 2008 FedEx Ground Player of the Year. 2009 Pro Bowl 2009 First-Team All-Pro 2010
Pro Bowl 2010 Second-Team All-Pro 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) Second
rookie ever to win Pro Bowl MVP (Marshall Faulk in 1994) Most career rushing touchdowns
(64) Most rushing yards in a single season: 1,760 (2008) Most rushing touchdowns in a
single season: 18 (2009) Most career rushing touchdowns (4) Source: Personal Peterson
has a half-brother named Jaylen Brown who currently plays football at Klein Oak High
School in Texas as its running back. His dad nicknamed him "All Day", which was later shortened
to A.D.—his nickname today. Peterson's brother Brian, older by one year, was killed by a
drunk driver when Peterson was seven; another half-brother was murdered the night before
Peterson participated in the NFL Combine. In an episode of E:60, ESPN reporter Rachel
Nichols states that Peterson has two children, including a daughter named Adeja. He currently
resides in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his brothers
Derrick and Eldon Peterson. Recently, as the NFL network series Top 100 - NFL players of
2011 concluded, Peterson was voted as the number 3 player in the league, behind only
quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. On July 7, 2012, Peterson was arrested on
a charge of resisting arrest in Houston, TX and had to post a $1,000 bond.