NORMAN, Okla. Oklahoma fans are well schooled in the history of Sooners running backs.

Steve Owens and Billy Sims won the Heisman Trophy. Marcus Dupree was a 1,100-yard lightning bolt in 1982, and Quentin Griffin was a tiny wrecking ball.

Adrian Peterson, however, is on track to become the best running back in OU history. And he has played only 11 games.

"It seems like it's going by real fast," Peterson said.

The freshman from Palestine, Texas, came to Oklahoma as the nation's No. 1 recruit. On Dec. 11, Peterson could become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. He needs 226 yards to break OU's season rushing record. At his current pace, Peterson could shatter the career mark during his junior season.

Peterson's father, Nelson, has said his son could run all day. At this rate, A.D., as he's known among teammates, is sprinting into college football history.

"In Adrian's case, I think he knew he was the No. 1 running back in the country in high school but he wanted to prove himself," OU offensive coordinator Chuck Long said.

No defense has completely stopped Peterson. He rushed for at least 100 yards in the first nine games, which broke the NCAA Division I-A freshman record. Peterson joined Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk as the only freshmen to rush for 1,000 yards in seven games.

An injured shoulder slowed him down against Nebraska. Coaches limited Peterson's carries, and he had 58 yards on 15 carries. He came back the next week and ripped off 240 yards against Baylor.

A Big 12 championship, a national title and a Heisman Trophy could all be forthcoming in December. Not bad for a 19-year-old.

dallasnews.com

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