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The best Bob Stoops-era Oklahoma football players:
No. 3, running back Adrian Peterson (2004-06)

by Jason Kersey Modified: July 29, 2013 at 10:05 am •  Published: July 29, 2013
Former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson won the NFL's Most Valuable Player award last season. PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
Former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson won the NFL's Most Valuable Player award last season. PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE

 

NORMAN — Continuing our look at the top 15 Oklahoma football players in the Bob Stoops era, we remember the 2004 Heisman Trophy runner-up and current Minnesota Vikings superstar who continues to amaze the country with his once-in-a-lifetime talent.

ADRIAN PETERSON

Jersey No.: 28
Position: Running back
Years played: 2004-06
Hometown: Palestine, Texas
Big 12 championships: 2
National championships: 0
Notable: Was a five-star prospect in 2004 and one of the most coveted recruits in recent memory. … Chose OU over offers from Arkansas, Miami, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC. … Rushed for 1,925 yards and 15 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2004, helping the Sooners to an undefeated regular season, Big 12 championship and a berth in the BCS national-title game. … His 1,925 rushing yards are still an OU single-season rushing record. … Led the country with 339 carries as a true freshman. … Was the Heisman Trophy runner-up that year, losing to USC quarterback Matt Leinart. … Ranks third in program history in career rushing yardage (4,045) behind only Billy Sims (4,118) and Joe Washington (4,071). … Skipped his senior season of college to enter the 2007 NFL Draft, and was selected seventh overall by the Minnesota Vikings. … Rushed for 2,097 yards for the Vikings in 2012 — the second-most rushing yards in one season in NFL history — and was named the league MVP.

THREE MEMORABLE GAMES

Oklahoma 12, Texas 0
When: Oct. 9, 2004
Where: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas
Peterson’s day: Carried the ball 32 times, rushing for 225 yards — a 7-yard per carry average — and helping the Sooners beat Texas for a fifth straight season. … Opened the Sooners’ second offensive drive of the game with a 44-yard run.

Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 35
When: Oct. 30, 2004
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater
Peterson’s day: Carried the ball 33 times for 249 yards and a touchdown, which came midway through the third quarter. He took a pitch from Jason White, spun through a crowd of seven Cowboys and sprinted away for an 80-yard touchdown that put the Sooners up 35-21. … On his very next carry, Peterson gained 56 yards. … The performance marked his eighth-straight game with at least 100 yards rushing.

Oklahoma 31, Tulsa 15
When: Sept. 10, 2005
Where: Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman
Peterson’s day: A narrow victory over a mid-major may seem strange to see on this list, but make no mistake — Tulsa likely would’ve shocked the Sooners if not for every single one of Peterson’s 32 carries and 220 yards. … With just over three minutes remaining and OU clinging to a 17-15 lead, Peterson took a handoff on fourth-and-one, ran over a Tulsa defender, was spun around by another several yards downfield and finally sprinted away for the game-clinching touchdown. … Peterson carried the ball on 19 of OU’s 28 second-half plays, and accounted for 88.1 percent of the Sooners’ 269 total yards of offense that day.


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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