He is the NFL’s premier running back. He plays for the Minnesota Vikings and is its all-time leading rusher. He is a 4-time Pro Bowl front runner and one of the league’s most marketable players. In college, he set the NCAA freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards during the 2004 season. As a first-team All-American, he became the first freshman to finish as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting, behind USC quarterback Matt Leinart.
After his first pro season, he was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and was then awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl. He became only the fifth player in NFL history to have more than 3,000 yards through his first two seasons. In 2010, he became the fifth fastest player to run for 5,000 yards, doing so in his 51st game. In 2012, he became the sixth fastest player to reach 8,000 rushing yards. Nicknamed A.D. for “All Day”, his football career success is carried by his tireless determination.
Born to two athletic parents, he was interested in sports from an early age. As a child, however, his life was not absent of pain and heartache. At 7, he watched his oldest brother die after being hit by a drunk driver while they were bike-riding. And while in high school, his dad, who was also his coach, went to jail on a drug charge. He credits his faith in God for sustaining him through those tough times and helping him to stay focused on his goals.
He says of his relationship with Jesus Christ: “Jesus Christ means the world to me. I’ve been through so many different situations through my childhood and now my adulthood…God just helped me get through them and made me stronger at a young age. (Through) all the adversity and hard times I’ve been through, God has always been present. I’ve always prayed to Him and asked Him to give me the strength to endure and to help others and to better understand whatever situation I deal with in my personal life. And He has always showed up! It brings hope and peace of mind knowing that God gave His only begotten Son for us. I’m able to look back and know that on Christmas day Jesus was born and gave us the opportunity to have eternal life. No matter how many flaws we have, our God is so forgiving and understanding. He’ll never leave you or forsake you. So that brings peace to me.”
His name is Adrian Peterson.