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Adrian L. Peterson

This article is about the Minnesota Vikings running back. For the Chicago Bears running back, see Adrian N. Peterson. Adrian Peterson
Peterson splitting defenders in the 2008 Pro Bowl. Minnesota VikingsNo.28 Running backDate of birth: March 21, 1985(1985-03-21) (age 23) Place of birth: Palestine, TexasHeight: 6 ft 1 in(1.85 m) Weight: 217 lb(98 kg) National Football League debut 2007for the Minnesota VikingsCareer history College: OklahomaNFL Draft: 2007/ Round: 1 / Pick: 7  Teams:
Career highlights and awards Selected NFL statistics
(through Week 17 of the 2007 NFL season) Rushing yards     1,341 Rushing average     5.6 Rushing TDs     12 Stats at

Adrian Lewis Peterson[1] (born March 21, 1985 in Palestine, Texas.[2][3][4]), nicknamed A.D. ("All Day") and "Purple Jesus" is a professional American football running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL).[5] He played college football as a running back for three years at the University of Oklahoma. At Oklahoma, Peterson set the NCAA freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards (as a true freshman and not a redshirt freshman) as a first team All-American, when he also set the freshman record of runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting, and finished as the school's third all-time leading rusher.[6]'

Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Coming into the league, he was known as a tall, upright runner possessing an ultra-rare combination of speed, strength, agility, size, and vision, along with a highly aggressive attitude towards contact.[2] His rare talent as both a great breakaway and power runner has often raised comparisons to past legends, including Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson, Gale Sayers, and Jim Brown.[7] As a rookie in the NFL, he has broken numerous franchise and league records for rushing yardage, foremost being the NFL single-game rushing record when he ran for 296 yards on 30 carries on November 4, 2007, against the San Diego Chargers.[8][9] Following his stellar first pro season, Peterson was a near-unanimous choice as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year [10]. In the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl, Peterson rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns, achieving the second highest rushing total in Pro Bowl history. Peterson was awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl, which led to a 42-30 victory over the AFC.



His father was a college basketball player at Idaho State University and his mother was a track and field sprinter at the University of Houston.[11] His uncle, Ivory Lee Brown, played one season in the NFL for the Phoenix Cardinals in 1992.[5][12] Adrian Peterson has dealt with family crisis throughout his life. He was thirteen years old when his father was sentenced to ten years in prison for money laundering in connection with illegal drugs.[13] Nelson Peterson served nearly eight years of his prison sentence and was released in October 2006. His brother was hit and killed by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle as a kid. His stepbrother, Chris Paris, was shot and killed in Houston, Texas, one day before Adrian's participation in the 2007 NFL Scouting Combine.[13]

He has one daughter, Adeja.[14] He currently resides in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his brothers, Eldon, and Derrick Peterson.[15]

Early years

Peterson was interested in football as a child as he began playing at the age of seven[16] and participated in the popular Pop Warner Football program.[4] He continued his interest in athletics into high school where he competed in track and field, basketball, and football at Palestine High School.[2] He was most notable in football where he played during his junior and senior years and became the top college recruit in the country as a senior.[17] He 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.[2] 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.[2] Concluding his high school football career at the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he led the West squad with 95 yards on nine carries and scoring two touchdowns and announced at the game he would attend college at Oklahoma.[18] 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.[19] Following the season, he was awarded the Hall Trophy as the Ball Park National High School Player of the Year.[18] In addition, he was named the top high school player by College Football News and[2]

College career


During his freshman season, Peterson broke many NCAA freshman rushing records, rushing for 1925 yards and leading the nation in carries with 339.[5] He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, finishing second to USC quarterback Matt Leinart, which was the highest finish ever for a freshman.[5] He was also a finalist for the Doak Walker Award.[20] Among other honors include being the first Oklahoma freshman recognized as a First-Team Associated Press All-American.[5] 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.[20]


Peterson's playing time in 2005 was limited by a high ankle sprain.[2] He injured his ankle in the first Big 12 Conference game of the season against Kansas State University.[21] Despite missing time in four games, he rushed for 1,208 yards and fourteen touchdowns on 220 carries, finishing second in Big 12 rushing yardage.[5] His 2005 season was also notable for a career-long eighty-four yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State University.[5] Upon the conclusion of the season, he was named a member of the All-Big 12 Conference team.[5]


Peterson runs against Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

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[16] 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 fifty-three yard touchdown run.[22] During a press conference on October 18, Peterson said he was told by doctors to expect to be out for four to six weeks.[23] At the time of the injury, Peterson needed only 150 yards to gain to pass Billy Sims as the University of Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher.[24] He 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.[22] He refused to discuss his plans beyond the end of this season with the press.[23] He concluded his college football career with 1,112 rushing yards his final season, even after missing multiple games due to injury [25] for a total of 4,045 rushing yards.[26] He was seventy-four yards short of passing Billy Sims as Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher. Had he played four years, or even a full three, he would have well surpassed these records[26]

Awards and honors

Professional career

2007 NFL Draft

On January 15, 2007, Peterson declared that he would forego his senior year of college and enter the 2007 NFL Draft.[27] Concerns about his injuries suffered during college were noted by the media and potential NFL teams.[13][6][16][28] He started twenty-two out of thirty-one games in his college career and missed games due to a dislocated shoulder his first year, a high ankle sprain his sophomore year, and a broken collarbone his final year at Oklahoma.[6] His durability was a consideration by at least two teams in their draft analysis[28], which impacted selection position. Prior to the 2007 NFL Draft, Peterson was compared by professional football scouts to Eric Dickerson.[11] 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."[29]

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.[30] 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."[31]

Minnesota Vikings

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 organization. I want to win."[32] He later told the Star Tribune in an interview, "I want to be the best player to ever play this game."[33]

Since being drafted by the Vikings, it had been speculated that Peterson would have to undergo surgery to heal the collarbone injury suffered during college, but it was revealed on May 16, 2007 that he will not have to have surgery.[34]

Nearly three months after being drafted, he was signed by the Vikings on July 29, 2007. His contract is worth US$40.5 million over five years, with $17 million guaranteed.[35]


After just eleven weeks into his rookie season with the Vikings, Peterson was already considered to be among the premier running backs in the NFL.[36] Before the season, Peterson announced his goals were to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year and rushing for 1,800 yards over the season, breaking the league's rookie rushing record just as he did in his first season at Oklahoma. The NFL's rushing record for a rookie is currently held by Eric Dickerson at 1,808 yards.[37]

On August 10, Peterson made his Minnesota Vikings debut in a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams.[38] Peterson ran for 33 yards on 11 carries with one catch for two yards.[39] On September 9, 2007, Peterson ran for 103 yards on nineteen carries in his first NFL regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons.[40] In addition to his rushing yardage, he scored his first professional football touchdown on a sixty yard pass reception.[40] Over his first three regular season games, his 431 yards (271 rushing & 160 receiving) from scrimmage are a team record.[41] For his performance during the three games, Peterson received the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month award for both September and October 2007.[42][43]

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.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46] Following Peterson's record performance, Deion Sanders, now an NFL Network analyst said the following about 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."[47] He has also been compared to Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett by Star Tribune sports journalist Jim Souhan.[48]

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 thirty carries and three touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers.[8][9] That game was his second game of over 200 yards rushing, a feat no other rookie has ever accomplished in a season.[49] 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.[49] His 1,036 rushing yards represents the best eight-game performance by a rookie in NFL history.[50]

On November 11, 2007, just a week after his record-breaking performance against the Chargers, Peterson injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in a game against the Green Bay Packers.[51] The injury occurred in the third quarter of a 34-0 defeat at Lambeau Field on a low tackle by Packers cornerback Al Harris.[51] Almost a month after the injury, Peterson returned to action on December 2, 2007 against the Detroit Lions scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 116 yards.[52] On December 17 Adrian played in his first Monday Night Football game where he had 78 yards rushing, 17 yards receiving and 2 TDs. The next day Adrian 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[10].

On February 10, 2008, Adrian 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 was the first rookie since Marshall Faulk in 1995 to win the Pro Bowl MVP award[53].

Adrian Peterson finished in second place in rushing yards (1341) in the 2007 season behind LaDanian Tomlinson, who finished with 1474 rushing yards.

NFL Records and Awards

  • 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

Career statistics



  Rushing Receiving Season Team GP Att Yds Avg Long TD Rec Yds Long TD 2007 Min 14 238 1341 5.6 73 12 19 268 60 1 Total 14 238 1341 5.6 73 12 19 268 60 1


  1. ^ ESPN - NEXT 2005 Adrian Peterson
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Adrian Peterson NFL Bio. Viking Update (2007-04-28). Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
  3. ^ Adrian Peterson. Yahoo!. Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
  4. ^ a b Wojciechowski, Gene. NEXT 2005 Adrian Peterson. Retrieved on 2007-08-30.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Adrian Peterson. Minnesota Vikings. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
  6. ^ a b c Weisman, Larry. "Is Peterson a home run hitter for Vikings?", USA Today, 2007-08-07. Retrieved on 2007-08-24
  7. ^ Visser, Leslie. "Peterson rewriting the rookie record book 'All Day' long", CBS, 2007-11-07
  8. ^ a b Campbell, Dave. "Peterson breaks single-game rushing record", Associated Press, 2007-11-04. Retrieved on 2007-11-04
  9. ^ a b "Top rushing performances in NFL history", Associated Press, 2007-11-04. Retrieved on 2007-11-04
  10. ^ a b "Vikings' Peterson with runaway performance on field, and in voting", Associated Press, 2008-01-02. Retrieved on 2008-01-02
  11. ^ a b Max, Mike. "Adrian Peterson Credits Family For Success", WCCO-TV, 2007-05-21. Retrieved on 2007-08-25
  12. ^ Ivory Brown. Retrieved on 2007-08-30.
  13. ^ a b c Corbett, Jim. "Adrian Peterson runs through anger to the NFL", USA Today, 2007-04-18. Retrieved on 2007-08-24
  14. ^ Newman, Elizabeth (2007-02-20). First Person: Adrian Peterson, Ex-Oklahoma Running Back. CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
  15. ^ Evans, Thayer. "The Pride of Palestine: Texas Town Follows Its Star", The New York Times, 2007-09-23. Retrieved on 2007-09-27
  16. ^ a b c Bensinger, Graham (2007-03-30). Peterson overcomes adversity, injuries to be top RB. Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
  17. ^ Tyler, Scott. "A Hero's Welcome Home", Palestine Herald-Press, 2007-06-24. Retrieved on 2007-08-30
  18. ^ a b Ball Park National H.S. Player of the Year. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  19. ^ Adrian Peterson - Football Recruiting. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  20. ^ a b All-American: ozzy. University of Oklahoma and CSTV. Retrieved on 2007-08-30.
  21. ^ "Peterson injured in Oklahoma’s win", Associated Press, 2005-10-01. Retrieved on 2007-09-26
  22. ^ a b "Oklahoma's Peterson returns to practice", Associated Press, 2006-12-08. Retrieved on 2006-12-09
  23. ^ a b Wright, Scott. "Peterson discusses injury", The Oklahoman, 2006-10-18. Retrieved on 2006-10-19
  24. ^ Stoops: Peterson Broke Collarbone. Retrieved on 2007-09-23.
  25. ^ Adrian Peterson - Oklahoma Sooners. Retrieved on 2007-09-27.
  26. ^ a b Career Rushing Records. Retrieved on 2007-09-23.
  27. ^ "Peterson to Enter 2007 NFL Draft", University of Oklahoma and CSTV, 2007-01-15. Retrieved on 2007-08-21
  28. ^ a b Banks, Don. "Teams wary of Peterson's health", CNN Sports Illustrated, 2007-05-21. Retrieved on 2007-08-25
  29. ^ Walker, James. "Browns to learn today if they'll draft third or fourth", The Columbus Dispatch, 2007-02-23. Retrieved on 2007-09-26
  30. ^ Pokorny, Chris (2007-04-28). Vikings Draft RB Adrian Peterson at No. 7. Pro Football Critics. Retrieved on 2007-04-28.
  31. ^ Pedulla, Tom. "Vikings' Peterson confident he can contribute", USA Today, 2007-04-29. Retrieved on 2007-08-25
  32. ^ Robinson, Jon (2007-05-04). Adrian Peterson Interview. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-08-26.
  33. ^ Seifert, Kevin. "At home, Vikings star can put his fire on ice", Star Tribune, 2007-11-04. Retrieved on 2007-11-04
  34. ^ Seifert, Kevin. "Doctor says Peterson's collarbone is healing just fine", Star Tribune, 2007-05-16. Retrieved on 2007-05-17
  35. ^ Pasquarelli, Len. "Vikings agree to five-year deal with top pick Peterson",, 2007-07-29. Retrieved on 2007-07-29
  36. ^ Salisbury, Sean. "Is Adrian Peterson the best back in football?",, 2007-11-07. Retrieved on 2007-11-08
  37. ^ Campbell, Dave. "Rookie Adrian Peterson off to a sensational start for Vikings", Associated Press, 2007-10-20. Retrieved on 2007-11-06
  38. ^ Souhan, Jim. "Only one game, but offense already has apparently hit the wall", Star Tribune, 2007-08-11. Retrieved on 2007-09-02
  39. ^ National Football League Game Summary: St. Louis Rams At Minnesota Vikings. National Football League (2007-08-10). Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
  40. ^ a b National Football League Game Summary: Atlanta Falcons At Minnesota Vikings. National Football League (2007-09-09). Retrieved on 2007-09-23.
  41. ^ Zulgad, Judd. "Teammates want to keep 'All Day' fresh for all season", Star Tribune, 2007-09-25. Retrieved on 2007-09-26
  42. ^ "Peterson named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September", Associated Press, 2007-10-03. Retrieved on 2007-10-06
  43. ^ "Peterson named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October",, 2007-11-01. Retrieved on 2007-11-04
  44. ^ Seifert, Kevin. "Image of Vikings' bumbling offense fades on this day", Star Tribune, 2007-10-15. Retrieved on 2007-10-15
  45. ^ Zulgad, Judd. "Peterson show dazzles Bears ... and Vikings", Star Tribune, 2007-10-14. Retrieved on 2007-10-15
  46. ^ Chadiha, Jeffri. "Quick impression: Vikes' Peterson eyes record season",, 2007-10-18. Retrieved on 2007-10-21
  47. ^ Campbell, Dave. "PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Rookie Peterson off to a sensational start for Vikings", Associated Press, 2007-10-18. Retrieved on 2007-10-21
  48. ^ Souhan, Jim. "Peterson is one of a kind", Star Tribune, 2007-10-20. Retrieved on 2007-10-25
  49. ^ a b Campbell, Dave. "Peterson Leads Vikes Past Chargers 35-17", Associated Press, 2007-11-04. Retrieved on 2007-11-04
  50. ^ Seifert, Kevin. "Vikings winning formula: Give the ball to Peterson", Star Tribune, 2007-11-04. Retrieved on 2007-11-05
  51. ^ a b Seifert, Kevin. "Vikings: Good news out of a bad collision", Star Tribune, 2007-11-12. Retrieved on 2007-12-08
  52. ^ Krawczynski, Jon. "Adrian's back as Vikings surge to big victory", Star Tribune, 2007-12-02. Retrieved on 2007-12-02
  53. ^ "Owens, Peterson Lead NFC Comeback", Associated Press, 2008-02-10. Retrieved on 2008-02-11

External links

Preceded by
Carson PalmerPro BowlMVP
2008 Succeeded by
TBD Preceded by
Vince YoungAP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
2007 Succeeded by
TBD Preceded by
Vince YoungDiet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year
2007 Succeeded by
v • d • eHall Trophy winners2000: K. Jones| 2001: L. Booker| 2002: C. Leak| 2003: A. Peterson | 2004: R. Perrilloux| 2005: M. Mustain| 2006: J. Clausen| 2007: T. Pryor v • d • e2007 NFL Draft First Round SelectionsJaMarcus RussellCalvin JohnsonJoe ThomasGaines AdamsLevi BrownLaRon Landry• Adrian Peterson • Jamaal AndersonTed Ginn, Jr.Amobi OkoyePatrick WillisMarshawn LynchAdam CarrikerDarrelle RevisLawrence TimmonsJustin HarrellJarvis MossLeon HallMichael GriffinAaron RossReggie NelsonBrady QuinnDwayne BoweBrandon MeriweatherJon BeasonAnthony SpencerRobert MeachemJoe StaleyBen GrubbsCraig DavisGreg OlsenAnthony GonzalezDraftYears: 70 • 71 • 72 • 73 • 74 • 75 • 76 • 77 • 78 • 79 • 80 • 81 • 82 • 83 • 84 • 85 • 86 • 87 • 88 • 89 • 90 • 91 • 92 • 93 • 94 • 95 • 96 • 97 • 98 • 99 • 00 • 01 • 02 • 03 • 04 • 05 • 06 • 07 • 08 v • d • eMinnesota Vikings first-round draft picksMasonDunawayEllerSnowShayJonesG. WashingtonPageYaryWardHaydenSiemonForemanMcNeillRileyMullaneyWhiteKramerHollowayBrownMartinNelsonBrownerMillardDolemanRobinsonDozierMcDanielSmithD. WashingtonSteussieAlexanderStringerClemonsRuddMossCulpepperUnderwoodHovanBennettMcKinnieWilliamsUdezeWilliamsonJamesGreenway• Peterson v • d • eMinnesota Vikings2007 NFL Draftselections Adrian Peterson • Sidney RiceMarcus McCauleyBrian RobisonAundrae AllisonRufus AlexanderTyler ThigpenChandler Williams v • d • eNFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Awardfrom the Associated Press1967: Farr| 1968: McCullouch| 1969: Hill| 1970: Shaw| 1971: Brockington| 1972: Harris| 1973: Foreman| 1974: Woods| 1975: M. Thomas| 1976: White| 1977: Dorsett| 1978: Campbell| 1979: O. Anderson| 1980: Sims| 1981: Rogers| 1982: Allen| 1983: Dickerson| 1984: Lipps| 1985: Brown| 1986: Mayes| 1987: Stradford| 1988: Stephens| 1989: Sanders| 1990: Smith| 1991: Russell| 1992: Pickens| 1993: Bettis| 1994: Faulk| 1995: Martin| 1996: George| 1997: Dunn| 1998: Moss| 1999: James| 2000: M. Anderson| 2001: A. Thomas| 2002: Portis| 2003: Boldin| 2004: Roethlisberger| 2005: Williams| 2006: Young| 2007: Peterson PersondataNAME Peterson, Adrian ALTERNATIVE NAMES Peterson, Adrian "All Day" SHORT DESCRIPTION Football player; Running-back DATE OF BIRTH March 21, 1985PLACE OF BIRTH Palestine, TexasDATE OF DEATH PLACE OF DEATH
Categories: 1985 births | Living people | People from Texas | American football running backs | Oklahoma Sooners football players | Oklahoma Sooners in the National Football League | Minnesota Vikings players | National Conference Pro Bowl players | NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award winners | US Army All-American football players

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