After a puzzling season opener in which Adrian Peterson only had 10 carries against the San Francisco 49ers, and looked tentative at times, AP has since quieted critics questioning whether he might have lost a step, by leading the league in rushing.
In light of LSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournettes early season dominance and Heisman trophy contention, he has naturally drawn comparisons to Peterson. Many people have questioned whether Fournette should be eligible to play in the NFL next season.
Peterson, weighing in on the situation, added an even bolder statement “Not to sound cocky or anything, or confident, but yeah, I do feel like I could have came out my senior year of high school and played in the NFL,” said Peterson. “I really do. And I’ll just say this; people were like ‘Well, physically you just weren’t ready.’ I came in my freshman year and I was up for the Heisman, had a pretty good season, was the leading rusher.”
Eligibility rules have long been a polarizing topic in college sports, particularly in football. Peterson was a standout player for Palestine HS, and came into Oklahoma as a true freshman and broke several NCAA rushing records, including yards and carries. AP also broke his collarbone and ankle during his college career. How would his body have responded to hits by much stronger men? Would he still be playing in the league today if he started at 18?
These are questions that cannot be answered of course, but does further the discussion. Should football players have the opportunity to go pro after high school? We know what AP would say.