Award named after GSU’s Adrian Peterson

Photo: gseagles.com

Katie Tolbert

College Sporting News has named the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Year Award after NCAA Division I leading rusher and Georgia Southern University Hall of Fame member, Adrian “A.P.” Peterson.

“Wow… I am humbled by this honor and am truly blessed that my name will be attached to this award,” Adrian Peterson said in a news release. “My teammates played a major part in my success at Georgia Southern University, and I am forever grateful for what we were able to accomplish as Eagles and for Eagle Nation.”

Peterson hit the milestone of leading rusher with 6,599 career yards over a decade ago when he played for GSU.  During his 57 game career at GSU, he scored 111 touchdowns, helped the Eagles to win two NCAA Division I FCS championships, carried 1,378 times for 9,145 yards, and added at least 100 yards to his career total in every single game but one.

Peterson either set a record or won an award every single year he played for the Eagles. Starting with all four years, he finished in the top three vote-getters for the Walter Payton Award, actually winning in 1999. Earlier on, he set the record for most rushing yards as a freshman, and was the first sophomore to earn the award for most outstanding player in NCAA Division I-AA.

After his time with the Eagles, Peterson continued his football career in the National Football League, playing eight years for the Chicago Bears. Peterson no longer plays football, but he has dedicated his life to motivational speaking, working with multiple charities.

Peterson was very successful in his athletic career, but his academic career took a hit at a very young age, when, in kindergarten, he found out he had a speech impediment. He was in speech therapy classes all the way through his high school years and later learned that those classes helped him through his time in collegiate and professional football.

Peterson did not forget where his roots are though. In 2012, he came out with his autobiography called and a portion of all his book sales comes back to GSU to fund a scholarship.