A Salute to OU’s Adrian Peterson

LAST TOUCHDOWN: Peterson goes into the end zone against Iowa State. Seconds later he broke his collarbone.


Adrian Peterson, a 6-2, 218 pound junior running back from Palestine, Texas, is one of the great running backs in college football history. He was on his way to becoming a Heisman Trophy candidate when he broke his collarbone in the well-known touchdown leap against Iowa State.

Though many observers speculate that Peterson will never play again for, his future remains in doubt for various reasons.
Whatever, it is worth reviewing the career before this season of the Sooner great provided by the University of Oklahoma Sports Information Office.

2005: Consensus All-Big 12 … missed all or more than half of four games with ankle injury and still rushed for more yards than any other Big 12 RB … second in the league in rushing to Missouri QB Brad Smith … had the 14th-best rushing season in school history … ran for more than 100 yards in five of the eight games in which he was healthy … gained 237 yards on 24 carries with two TDs (84 and 71) vs. Oklahoma State and was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week … carried 32 times for 220 yards and three TDs in win over Tulsa.

2004: Second in the Heisman balloting, best finish ever by a freshman … No. 3 in voting for the Maxwell Award (player of the year) … consensus All-American while playing against six ranked foes … first OU freshman to be named All-America … first freshman since Dre Bly in 1996 to be named AP All-American … first freshman Doak Walker Award finalist … totaled a nation-leading and NCAA freshman record 339 rushing attempts (third highest in OU history) … No. 3 nationally with 1,925 rushing yards … yards after contact were 1,365, 71% of his net … broke OU school season rushing record set in 1978 by Billy Sims (1,896) and NCAA freshman record set in 1996 by Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (1,863) … also set NCAA frosh marks for consecutive 100-yard rushing games (9) and total 100-yard rushing games (11) … His 11, 100-yard games ranked second at OU (Quentin Griffin had 12 in 2002) … tied NCAA freshman record for reaching 1,000 yards in the fewest games (7) with Emmitt Smith (Florida, 1987) and Marshall Faulk (San Diego State, 1991) … Greg Pruitt, who reached 1,000 yards in six games of the 1971 season, is the only OU back to reach the plateau faster than Peterson … rushed for 100 yards in 11 of 13 games … lone exceptions were game 10 when he played sparingly in a win over Nebraska (15-58) due to injury and the Orange Bowl (25-82) … No. 6 nationally in rushing yards (148.1 per game) … set OU freshman all-purpose record with 1,937 yards, the third-highest figure in school history … No. 15 nationally with 149.0 all-purpose yards/game … had 44 rushes of 10 or more yards and eight of 35 yards or longer … second OU frosh to rush for 100 yards in debut game, and the first RB to do so.

High School: Consensus national player of the year … rushed for 2,960 yards on 252 attempts, an average of 11.7 yards per carry, and 32 touchdowns as a senior … finished his 2002 campaign with 2,051 yards on 246 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry, and 22 TDs … coached by Jerry Harrell … also competed in track and field and basketball.

The Wrap-up: First player in school history to eclipse 3,000 rushing yards in two seasons … tied for fourth in school history with 16, 100-yard games and is third with four 200-yard performances … career rushing total of 3,033 ranks eighth at OU … ran a team-best 4.37 in the 40 in the spring of 2006 … also registered a vertical leap of 37 inches … born March 21, 1985 … son of Nelson Peterson and Bonita Jackson.

Updated 10-26-2006

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