Peterson says his dream has finally come true

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson went one-on-one in an exclusive interview with James Hale Sunday night. Peterson talks about his future with the Vikings and fellow Sooner Rufus Alexander and the latest on his collarbone injury.

As expected, former OU running back Adrian Peterson was the first running back taken in the NFL draft selected as seventh pick in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. Since that selection, Peterson has been on the run talking to a million people and executives and coaches from the Vikings. However, Peterson is never going to forget the people he met at the University of Oklahoma and despite finally running out of energy he talked to this reporter and for the Two Minute Drill.

JH: Congratulations on being selected as the seventh pick in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings!

AD: "Thanks! Thanks, man!"

JH: What do you think about it?

AD: "It is truly a blessing. I have just had a dream that I have had all my life finally come true. It is just an honor right now to represent the Minnesota Vikings."

JH: Can you give us an idea what draft day was like for you? I know you didn't have to wait long, but did it seem like a million hours?

AD: "Just sitting out there in the Green Room, it can seem like a million hours. You just sit back and watch from there. We were sitting there and after that fifth pick we were saying to ourselves, 'OK, we are still not out of the top 10 yet.' There were so many guys that were sitting there wishing they were in our position and there were some guys who were sitting in there for hours and hours and hours. That kind of put things in perspective for us, because I got out there pretty quick. I am very happy right now."

JH: Did you have an idea it would be Minnesota?

AD: "Yeah, I had an idea that it was possible that I would be going to Minnesota. That is what I have been thinking this whole time. I knew that I could go possibly at three to Cleveland, but you really didn't know. So we didn't put all our eggs in one basket. And even though I never talked to Arizona, I was still thinking maybe Arizona at five. Minnesota at seven was one of my options so it wasn't a big surprise. We knew that there was a chance I was going to get drafted by Minnesota ."

JH: You played the whole game in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State and said after that game that your collarbone was fine and you were fine. But two days before the draft a report comes out from the NFL saying that you re-injured your collarbone in the Fiesta Bowl and when you can play in the NFL is in question. What did you think of that report and what is the real scoop?

AD: "It was stupid when it came out two days before the draft. There is no telling how it got leaked out. Basically, the reports were making it seem like I had completely broken my collarbone again or broke it in different spots. It was an anxious time, but I knew at the time I couldn't do anything about it. I was on several radio shows and I did a couple of interviews with the media just trying to clear things up. I was trying to show and tell them that everything was looking good and all the teams had to understand it. I am pretty sure that kind of shook a lot of people up, but it worked out for the best. I got picked seventh overall by Minnesota and I am going to a good situation right now."

JH: You played the entire game and your last run was a 25-yard touchdown run in overtime against Boise State, so when did you re-injure it?

AD: "I did play in every play in the Fiesta Bowl. I actually didn't really know that there was anything wrong with the collarbone until about a month-and-a-half after that game. We learned that I had kind of re-fractured it a little bit. I was up in Arizona working out, lifting and everything and actually wasn't limited on anything, but some X-rays that I had done came back and said I had a small compound fracture. I didn't break it again, but I did have a new compound fracture in it. So, it just made it a little longer healing process."

JH: You have now had an additional four months since the new injury, so are you healthy enough now to go through mini-camp?

AD: "Yes sir. I will be able to go through mini-camp and get myself prepared for the season."

JH: What do you think about Minnesota and how they run the football?

AD: "I think I am going to fit in well. They already have a good running back with Chester Taylor who has been doing his thing (1,216 yards rushing last season). They have two all-pro offensive linemen in (Matt) Birk and (Steve) Hutchinson, so it was kind of like a blessing in disguise if you really want to think about it this situation that I am in. They have a great offensive line and I feel like I can go in and get things going right away."

JH: What do you think about going to the same team that drafted your buddy Rufus Alexander?

AD: "That is a blessing. It is going to be fun to be around Rufus for some additional years. It was funny, as the draft was going on people were coming up to us and saying that we are really thinking about taking Rufus. I was telling them that I don't know why he is still on the draft board because he is an outstanding player. Minnesota made the right decision and every team that passed on him passed on a great player."

JH: Did it surprise you that C.J. Ah You didn't go until the seventh around, and that Larry Birdine and Zach Latimer didn't get drafted at all?

AD: "Yeah, that surprised me. I didn't get to watch the draft because I was traveling back and forth, but I was trying to watch it when I was kicking it in the airport on my Sprint Phone until I had to turn it off on the flight. Still, that really surprised me."

JH: AD, you have already gotten to the point that you are pushing your products like the Sprint Phone?

AD: "Oh yeah, I am learning fast!"

JH: Can you share with us what was said between you and the GM and coach of the Minnesota Vikings when they made the call to tell you they were drafting you?

AD: "When I answered the phone I heard 'Adrian', and then I was like, 'yeah?' Then they said, 'How does make you feel to know that we would love for you to be a Viking?' I said, 'Shoot' and then everybody in the room could see a big smile on my face. My face was lit up and I told them that I felt great about that, and that I love that. Then they basically just started to talk to me and they told me to remember what we had talked about when I had come down there on my visit, and how we love to run the ball. That is what is great about them — they like to run the ball. They said, 'We are looking for you to come in and turn this thing around.' Then they just kind of shuffled the phone around as I was talking to the GM and coach (Brad) Childress, and we had a pretty good conversation."

JH: They do play indoors on artificial grass? Do you give a hoot if it is grass or artificial grass?

AD: "No, I don't give a hoot. I think some of my best games came on that artificial grass, especially when we played at Oklahoma State (laughing)."

JH: How much has it prepared you to play in the NFL playing at OU under Head Coach Bob Stoops, running back coach Cale Gundy and Offensive Coordinators Chuck Long and Kevin Wilson?

AD: "I have definitely been prepared well. Coach Gundy guided me for three years and I learned a lot under him. Then, just playing in the Big 12 Conference and against all the great opponents that we faced, and all the talented players that they had made me a much better player. Just playing in that conference certainly gets you ready for the next level. Then, just playing under Coach made me a better player and person. Coach Stoops guided me like he was looking after me and his wisdom will help me in the NFL and in the league."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories