Adrian Peterson to enter the 2007 NFL Draft
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson announced today that he will forgo his final season of college eligibility and make himself available for the 2007 NFL Draft.
“The last few days have been stressful,” Peterson said while describing his decision-making process. “I’ve been pondering a lot of things and looking at it from all the different angles, weighing the good and the bad.
“In the end, I think I just realized that this is a business decision and that it is time for me to take that next step. It wasn’t easy. I haven’t been sleeping much. I just put it all in God’s hands”
Adrian Peterson said he had valuable input from several people.
“I got opinions from people I value like my dad and my mother,” he said. “Coach Stoops gave me a lot of information that I needed. He presented both sides.”
The lure of staying at Oklahoma was tied mainly to the relationships Adrian Peterson established with teammates, especially those in his recruiting class.
“I came in with all those guys and I think a lot about the relationships we’ve built and all the hard work we’ve put in together.”
Unrealized goals also were on Peterson’s mind.
“There were some things that we didn’t accomplish. I didn’t really do all of the things I set out to do. Those things, the guys and the love for college football were things I thought about.”
OU head coach Bob Stoops said he supported Peterson’s decision.
“I know this has been a trying time for him and he just needs to know that we support him whole-heartedly,” Stoops said.
“Adrian has been a great individual player and a great teammate. His leadership and work ethic sent a strong example, and he competed with everything he had. He has given us all a lot of great moments and has been fun to watch.
“Now, he feels it’s just time and we support that. We hope and believe that he’s going to be a high pick. We’re excited to watch him move on and we expect that he will have a great and long NFL career.”
Like Stoops, Adrian Peterson believes he can transition smoothly into professional football.
“Physically I feel like I am ready and the business aspect makes sense too,” he said. “There are a lot of people at Oklahoma I need to thank. I want to thank all of the people who supported me, including the fans. And I want to thanks the coaches, Coach Stoops and especially my position coach, Coach (Cale) Gundy.”
Adrian Peterson leaves Oklahoma as the third leading rusher in school history with 4,045 career yards. He eclipsed 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons in a Sooner uniform.
Some 29 Oklahoma players have been drafted since Stoops arrived prior to the 1999 season. Peterson is likely to extend an impressive streak that has seen at least one OU player go in the first round of the NFL draft in each of the last five years.