Adrian Peterson wants in on bowl action

McClatchy Newspapers

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday that Adrian Peterson has told him he would like to play in a bowl game this season when his fractured collarbone heals.

"He's indicated that what he intends to do is play as soon as he's allowed to," Stoops said. "But I'm not going to hold him to that. Let it heal a little bit then (I'll) visit with him and be sure what's in his heart.

"But (his playing again this season) would not surprise me, because I know what kind of guy he is."

The will-he or won't-he debate will continue. But Peterson dispelled the idea he will drift away from the program when he showed up Monday as usual to watch tape and sit in position meetings before getting treatment in the training room.

Tailback Allen Patrick, who will start Saturday against Colorado, said his former roommate is doing as well as could be expected.

"He's doing pretty good," Patrick said. "Everyone knows it hurts him a lot, but I think he can tough it out and keep his head straight.

"It's nice to still have him around, just the things he brings to the team, and it's nice to be around him. I mean everybody has got a guy that brings `up' to the team, and he's that guy."

Patrick said he had "no idea" if Peterson would return to play. Backs coach Cale Gundy couldn't say definitively.

"I can't come out and say what he is going to do," Gundy said. "He has not come out and told me.

"But I do know this: He loves OU, and he loves his teammates, and he loves to play. So take it for what it's worth. The guy loves to play. He doesn't like to sit out."

Receiver Malcolm Kelly agreed.

"I believe he wants to come back," Kelly said.

Stoops said he can't fathom agent runners and marketers will be any more aggressive trying to get to Peterson, nor have more success.

"I have a hard enough time sometimes finding A.D. myself," Stoops said, "so I don't believe it's very easy for them.

"He's very guarded with his phone and who he visits with and I trust (him). He's been very good with me to this point in communicating what he wants and I believe he will continue to, until he knows what direction he wants to go.

"I know Adrian to be a pretty strong-willed young guy that is going to take his time to sit down and find out what is in his heart and what he wants to do. And I believe he needs a little bit of time to come to terms with that."