Adrian Peterson will probably stand to be the best in person success that I have experienced in many years. It seems that every year there’s 3 things going on in the area that prevents me from attending Adrian Peterson Day in Palestine, and this year laid itself out as no different; However I decided to make the trek out to the small Texas town to see what it was all about. Adrian has an amazing, supportive, and wonderful family. They give back to their community, take care of them, their fans, and where they come from. I just felt so positive and happy being there, I almost didn’t even notice how sunburnt I had become from the constant waves of thunderstorms coupled with the brief periods of heat. I even volunteered to help carry a few things for the family and held an umbrella or two for soaked people walking through the deluge.
Lance and I didn’t want to crowd Adrian when he got there. This was his day and he was not required to spend time with his fans. Lance and I waited until he was ready to sign and then got in line. He was nice enough to sign 2 cards for me. The first one- this beautiful Upper Deck College to Pros (UER), he penned his full signature on. The second- a really nice Score Franchise card, he shorthanded. I wasn’t upset about it. I know that I still got his autograph which made me happy. I felt so good about the event I left with the energy to pay it forward and I will do so, when his charity comes back online.
Adrian Peterson was nothing short of a sensation at Oklahoma. He made a constant mockery of UT during the Cotton Bowl contests, so admittedly I breathed a sigh of relief when he declared early for the NFL Draft in 2007. Over his 3 years at Oklahoma, Adrian ran for 4,041 yards (73 yards shy of OU All-Time leading rusher Billy Sims) on 748 carries and 48 TDs. He was also a prodigous track man.
The 2007 draft had some hits (Calvin Johnson #2 overall) and some misses (JaMarcus Russell #1 overall). Thankfully, Peterson is among the hits, and along with Johnson stands head and shoulders above most of the rest of the draft class. Taken seventh overall, Adrian had hoped to be selected at number six by the Cardinals or at number ten where the Texans were waiting. Still the Vikings had a perfect situation for him to land in, and Adrian did not disappoint. Adrian was a slam dunk pick based on his numbers and measurables. It was the injury history that the draft pundits didn’t like. He had broken his foot as a Sophmore and his collarbone as a Junior. Adrian finished his rookie year with 1,341 yards, was named Rookie of the Year and later won Pro Bowl Player of the Game Honors after logging 16 carries for 128 yards and 2 TDs. He led the NFL in rushing with 1,760 yards in 2008. In 2009, Adrian led the NFL with 18 rushing TDs. Adrian’s statistical accomplishments have continued to pile up over the past few years. After an injury shortened 2011, Adrian was named the NFL’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 as he finished with 2,097 yards, the second most in history and only 9 yards off the record set by Eric Dickerson. After another 1200+ yard season in 2013, controversy surrounded Peterson during 2014, leading to a season long suspension, however he looked refocused and in game time shape for 2015.