- NAME: Adrian Peterson
- OCCUPATION: Football Player
- BIRTH DATE: March 21, 1985 (Age: 28)
- EDUCATION: Palestine High School, University of Oklahoma
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Palestine, Texas
- Full Name: Adrian Lewis Peterson
- AKA: Adrian Peterson
- Nickname: "All Day"
- Nickname: A.D.
- Nickname: "Purple Jesus"
- Nickname: A.P.
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aries
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American football player Adrian Peterson returned from a serious leg injury to challenge the single-season rushing record and win the NFL MVP Award in 2012.
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Born on March 21, 1985, in Palestine, Texas, Adrian Peterson overcame childhood tragedy to become a star running back for the University of Oklahoma and the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. Despite suffering a devastating leg injury at the end of 2011, he returned the following year to challenge the NFL's single-season rushing record and win the Most Valuable Player Award.
"Resilience is what I'm all about. I run angry. Football allows me to take out some of my pain on the field."
Adrian Lewis Peterson was born on March 21, 1985, in Palestine, Texas. The son of a former Idaho State University basketball player (his father, Nelson) and a Texas state high school track-and-field champion (his mother, Bonita Jackson), it seemed inevitable he was headed for a life of athletic success.
Peterson endured notable traumatic moments as a child: At age 7, he watched his older brother, Brian, get killed by a drunk driver; six years later, his dad was arrested for money laundering in connection with drug dealing. As a result, Peterson experienced anger, but learned to channel it into sports. He played basketball and ran track at Palestine High School, but clearly was at his best on the football field. Peterson rushed for 2,960 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior running back, winning National Player of the Year honors from numerous outlets, and committed to play at the University of Oklahoma.
Adrian Peterson immediately adjusted to the heightened competition at Oklahoma. Although capable of outrunning most defenders, the powerful 216-pound back seemed to prefer plowing full-speed into them. Peterson ran for 183 yards in his third collegiate game, and topped the 200-yard mark three times en route to 1,925 rushing yards, a Division I-A freshman record. He placed second in the 2004 Heisman Trophy race, then the highest finish for a first-year player, and was named a consensus All-American.
Peterson sat out four games during his sophomore year with a high ankle sprain, and missed another seven the following season with a broken collarbone before declaring himself eligible for the 2007 National Football League draft. The night before Peterson's scheduled NFL scouting-combine workout, tragedy struck again when his half brother, Chris, was fatally shot in Houston. Despite his loss, Peterson performed well for would-be NFL employers, but questions remained about his injury history. He eventually was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
As he did in college, Peterson quickly proved an elite performer in the NFL. Nominally a backup, he erupted for 224 yards in his fifth game, and then set an NFL single-game record with 296 rushing yards in Week 8. He finished the 2007 season with 1,341 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Peterson led all running backs with 1,760 yards in 2008 and 18 touchdowns in '09, but that season ended in bitter fashion with his multiple fumbles in the NFL Championship Game loss to the New Orleans Saints. After a relatively quiet 2010 season, Peterson endured a nightmare finish to 2011 when he tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.
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