Adrian Peterson
Peterson while playing for the Chicago Bears
No. 29     Virginia Destroyers
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-07-01) July 1, 1979 (age 40)
Place of birth: Gainesville, Florida
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Weight: 212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
College: Georgia Southern
NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 6 / Pick: 199
Debuted in 2002 for the Chicago Bears
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
Rushing yards     1,260
Rushing average     4.1
Rushing TDs     8
Stats at

Adrian Nicholas Peterson[2] (born July 1, 1979)[2] is an American football running back for the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, playing eight seasons for Chicago. He is an alumnus of Georgia Southern University, where he set numerous school, conference, and NCAA Division I-AA records, [3] as well winning two 1-AA National Championships and receiving the Walter Payton Award for most outstanding player in 1-AA football.

Peterson has also been a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

Early yearsEdit

Born to Porter R. and Reatha M. Peterson, his father works at a plant that makes Energizer batteries.[4] Adrian Peterson was a two-time all-state, all-area selection and team MVP at Santa Fe High School in Alachua, Florida where he rushed for 4,949 yards during his prep career to earn All-America honors from ESPN and Blue Chip Illustrated. Peterson ran for 1,526 yards and 17 TDs on 185 carries (8.2 avg.) to earn Florida Class 4A Player-of-the-Year honors as a senior. He also lettered four times in track and two times each in weightlifting and basketball while in high school.[3]

College careerEdit

From 1998-2001, Peterson played for Georgia Southern, the most successful NCAA Division I-AA football programs in the country. He finished his career, not including the playoffs, with 6,559 rushing yards, a Division I football record, and won the Walter Payton Award in 1999. He was the first sophomore to win the award for most outstanding player in I-AA football. Peterson finished among the top three vote-getters for the Walter Payton Award in all four of his college football seasons. In 57 career games including the playoffs, he carried 1378 times for 9145 yards (6.6 avg), 111 touchdowns and an average of 160.44 yards per game.[3] On September 29th, 2012 Peterson was inducted into the Georgia Southern hall of fame in a ceremony held during halftime at Paulson Stadium.

Professional careerEdit

Chicago BearsEdit

The Chicago Bears selected Peterson in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. During his first season as a Bear, he rushed for 101 yards on nineteen attempts, and scored a single touchdown. He missed most of the next season after sustaining an ankle injury. Since then, he has seen a rather limited role. The team has primarily relied on Peterson as a specialist. In 2004, he led the Bears' special teams unit with 28 tackles.[3]

Peterson saw more action as a running back during the 2005 Chicago Bears season, after the Bears' top two running backs, Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson, suffered injuries. On November 13, in the first game that both were injured, a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Peterson eclipsed the 100 yard mark in a game for the first time in his career. He rushed for 120 yards on 24 attempts and scored a touchdown.[5] On the season, Peterson rushed for 391 yards on 76 attempts, and scored two touchdowns. Peterson was the team's second leading rusher during the season, and even went on to score a touchdown during the NFC Divisional game against the Carolina Panthers.[3]

During the 2006 Chicago Bears season, Peterson returned to his role as a specialist and third string running back. He received occasional playtime as running back, but played a versatile role on the Bears' special teams. During the team's season finale, Peterson caught a 37-yard pass from Brad Maynard on a fake punt.[6] In the NFC Championship game, Peterson tackled Michael Lewis and forced a fumble.[7]

After the Bears traded Jones prior to the 2007 season, Peterson was promoted to second string running back.[8] However, first string running back Cedric Benson sustained a season-ending injury on November 25, against the Denver Broncos.[9] During the same game, Peterson scored his second rushing touchdown of the season, when he powered into the endzone despite being enveloped by several Bronco defenders. With this news, Peterson moved to first string, with rookie Garrett Wolfe moved to second string. Peterson had his second 100-yard rushing game on December 23, 2007 against the Green Bay Packers.[10] Peterson had another productive performance the next week, during the Bears’ season finale against the New Orleans Saints. He rushed for 91 yards, and even threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian.[11]

When the Bears drafted Matt Forte and brought in Kevin Jones, Peterson saw little to no action at running back. He was cut from the team after the Bears signed Chester Taylor during the 2010 offseason.

Peterson signed with the Seattle Seahawks on August 12, 2010, but was released just five days later.

Virginia DestroyersEdit

Peterson was drafted by the Virginia Destroyers in the third round (14th overall) of the 2011 UFL Draft. He signed with the team on June 15.


He is the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson. He is also related to Freddie Solomon, who played for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. He performs community work in his spare time, and hosts an annual free youth football camp.[12] Additionally, Peterson, who has a speech impediment, volunteers his spare time to help children who also face the same challenge.[13]

Peterson, through Imprint Publishing, is releasing his autobiography, "Don't Dis My Abilities" Sept. 28th.


  1. "2006 Division I-A/I-AA Football Records Book" (PDF). - NCAA
  2. 2.0 2.1 Earnest Reese (2000-12-14). "'I'll be back'; Georgia Southern phenomenal fullback Peterson in no hurry to jump to NFL". The Atlanta Journal and Constitution: p. 1F.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Roster - Chicago Bears - 29 Adrian Peterson". Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  4. Mark Woods (2003-03-14). "Zook deserves credit for every Peterson tackle". The Florida Times-Union.
  6. Andrew Seligman (2007-01-01). "Green Bay 26, Chicago 7".;_ylt=ArWFO_gUNLeJylgP0_VHzhD.uLYF?gid=20061231003.
  7. "NFL Scores: 2007 - Week 15".
  8. Larry Mayer (2007-07-09). "Is Peterson the most underrated Bears player?".
  9. Larry Mayer (2007-11-26). "Benson to miss rest of season with ankle injury".
  10. Favre struggles, Packers see hopes of No. 1 seed wiped out with 35-7 loss to Bears - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
  11. NFL - New Orleans Saints/Chicago Bears Box Score Sunday December 30, 2007 - Yahoo! Sports
  12. Ken Payne. "Bearing Down with Bears Running Back Adrian Peterson". BuzzNEWS Online.
  13. "Bears player talks about speech impediment". 2006-01-01.
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