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Oklahoma football: Adrian Peterson tops list of Sooners' best true freshmen

Jason Kersey ranks the Top 5 true freshmen in OU history, a list that includes now-Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Marcus Dupree and Jamelle Holieway.
by Jason Kersey Published: August 27, 2012

1. Adrian Peterson, RB, 2004: Peterson came to Norman with hype and under pressure few freshmen have to deal with, and performed magnificently. He rushed for an OU-record 1,925 yards, scored 15 touchdowns and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up for the Sooners. After his freshman year, he struggled through injuries while still posting impressive numbers as a sophomore and junior before bolting for the NFL.

2. Marcus Dupree, RB, 1982: A man-child who forced his way into OU's lineup — and forced Barry Switzer into a different offense — midseason and rushed for 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns. The second-team All-American rushed for 239 yards in a Fiesta Bowl loss, eliciting criticism from the coach for being out of shape. He transferred to Southern Miss early the next season, never played there and had a brief, unsuccessful pro career.

3. Jamelle Holieway, QB, 1985: Holieway began playing in the fourth game, when Troy Aikman broke his leg in a loss to Miami. Holieway rushed for 862 yards and nine TDs and threw for six scores, and OU finished the season 11-1 and won the national title. His sophomore year was outstanding, and he was great as a junior, too, until a late-season ACL tear. He injured his ankle as a senior and lost his job to Charles Thompson.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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