Peterson in First Round to Vikings

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- Adrian Peterson was selected as the seventh overall pick of the 2007 draft Saturday.  The former Oklahoma running back was the first-round selection of the Minnesota Vikings.

It marked the seventh consecutive year in which an OU player was taken in the first round.  Peterson is the 31st Sooner taken in the draft since Bob Stoops took over as the program's head coach prior to the 1999 season.

Peterson is the first Oklahoma player taken in the draft by Minnesota since 1992 when the Vikings made RB Mike Gaddis their sixth-round pick.

Other Sooners that went to Minnesota included Derrick White in the sixth round of the 1988 draft, WR Buster Rhymes in the fourth round of the 1985 draft and HB Lance Rentzel (second round) and back Jim Graham (sixth round) in 1965.

"We're very happy and proud for Adrian and his family," said OU head coach Bob Stoops.  "He is such a competitive player and I appreciate so much what he brought to our program.  He has great pride in the way he plays and he's extremely tough.

"Those qualities rub off on the people around him.  He has the kind of competitive spirit that elevates those around him.  It means an awful lot to him that the entire team does well and I think that is probably his most under-appreciated quality.  As much attention as he garnered here, he was always more concerned with being respected in the locker room.  Being a good teammate matters a lot to him.  He genuinely cares about the people around him."

Peterson finished his career with 747 rushing atempts for 4,045 yards and 41 touchdowns.  He finished No. 3 on OU's career rushing list behind Billy Sims and Joe Washington, but was just 74 yards shy of breaking Sims' all-time mark.

Peterson played just three seasons, deciding to forgo his senior season to enter the draft.

Peterson's first season at OU was 2004 when he rushed for an NCAA freshman record 1,925 yards and 15 touchdowns.  He finished second in the Heisman balloting, the highest finish ever for a freshman.

In 2005, despite missing all or more than half of four games with a sprained ankle, he carried 220 times for 1,108 yards and 134 touchdowns.  Then, in 2006, despite missing seven games with a broken collarbone, he carried 188 times for 1,012 yards and 12 TD.

Peterson is the fifth Oklahoma player under Stoops to compete three seasons for the Sooners and then skip his final campaign to enter the draft.  The others were DB Roy Williams (Dallas, 2002), DE Jimmy Wilkerson (Kansas City, 2003), DT Tommie Harris (Chicago, 2004) and DB Brodney Pool (Cleveland, 2005).