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April 9, 2012If you haven't noticed, Adrian Peterson has been a little busy since he left Oklahoma for the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. There have been no regular public appearances in Norman from Peterson with his busy schedule, but that doesn't mean his mind hasn't been with the Sooners since becoming one of the most beloved players in the National Football League.
Adrian Peterson interview courtesy of The University of Oklahoma
Last week, Peterson proved how much Oklahoma still means to him when he pledged a $1 million gift to the Oklahoma Athletics department. According to The University of Oklahoma: The donation will support the construction of Headington Hall - OU's new student housing facility - and will also establish the Adrian Peterson Football Scholarship Endowment.
Peterson's gift will also be recognized as Oklahoma renames their team meeting room, The Red Room, as the Adrian Peterson Team Metting Room.
"When I first see my name on the dorm emotionally I can't really say how I'll feel but it's just going to be a sense of comfort you know?" said Peterson. "I'll really be able to sit back and realize how blessed I am. And not only to be in the position that I'm in now but to be able to go back and see through my journey and kind of go back to the University of Oklahoma and now my name is on a building and when I was there."
Peterson said part of the reasoning behind his gift to Oklahoma, was the example set by former Sooner Roy Williams. During his time at Oklahoma, Peterson trained in the Roy Williams Strength and Speed Complex inside the Everest Indoor Training Facility.
The complex was built as a result of Williams' financial gift to the university during his NFL playing days.
"I know we're going to have many more great athletes come through the University of Oklahoma and you know they're going to be staying in these dorms and they're going to see my name and know what I was able to do for the University," said Peterson. "I'm sure it's going to inspire them to be like, 'hey' and instill the same situation that I had and the same experience I had when I was like, 'hey this is cool. Roy Williams played here and this is what he did to give back to the University'.
"Now we have young students that come up and will see Adrian Petersen and they'll know this is what he did for this great University so it feels good to know that I'll be able to impact people in that way."
Peterson's generosity continues a great legacy at Oklahoma. His visibility as one of the best players in the NFL continues to pay dividends for the Sooners on the recruiting trail.
And he continues to set the standard for what is expected of high school stars when they arrive at Oklahoma.
"Adrian is certainly special. He possessed great natural ability, but never took that ability or his teammates for granted and it was common for him to place the interests of others above his own," said Bob Stoops. "I'm excited that his name will appear in Headington Hall to remind others of his example of selfless dedication and generosity. I'm also grateful to him for helping us continue the great Sooner legacy."
The other benefit for Peterson, he says, is if he does fall on hard times, he at least has a house with his name on it in Norman.
"I know for sure I'll have a place to lay my head," joked Peterson. "For whatever reason I know I can go back to the dorms with my name there and know that I have a room."