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Adrian Peterson Says He Was Ready for the NFL Out of High School (And He’s Probably Right)
The impressive sophomore season of LSU running back Leonard Fournette has people once again debating the NFL’s eligibility policy that keeps kids in college for at least three seasons.
The issue is obviously complicated. Some wonder if it’s fair to basically force talented kids to play for a fraction of what their abilities could earn them in the NFL. But others wonder if it’s even possible for a player to make the jump straight from high school to the pros.
Adrian Peterson thinks it’s possible, though. In fact, he thinks he could have done it.
On Monday the Vikings running back participated in a conference call with Denver media ahead of this weekend’s game against the Broncos. When a reporter brought up the high school-to-NFL issue, Peterson did not hold back:
“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. 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.”
Of course, it’s not bragging if it’s true. And in this case it probably is true.
Peterson was a man among boys in college. He ran for 1,925 yards in 13 games as a true freshman at Oklahoma and should have won the Heisman over Matt “What Ever Happened To That Guy” Leinart. However, that was back when they didn’t give Heisman’s to freshmen. When Peterson finally did join the NFL, all he did was run for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns his rookie season, with a league-best 95.8 yards per game.
So while there are very few players who could have made the jump straight to the NFL from high school, Peterson is probably right in thinking he is one of them.
Does that mean the NFL should allow teams to draft high school kids? That, I’m afraid, is another issue altogether.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]