Eagle Football Great Adrian Peterson Honored
STATESBORO, Ga. -- Georgia Southern University Football All-American and 1999 Walter Payton Award winner Adrian Peterson was honored as the College of Health and Human Sciences Alumni of the Year on Saturday, April 4. Fred Whitt, dean of the College, presented the award at the annual Alumni Awards Dinner held at the Nessmith-Lane Building on campus. In addition to the awards for each college, the University presents an annual accolade to one of its most distinguished alums.
Peterson, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in recreation in December 2001, was selected for the College’s alumni award based on his exemplary achievements in leadership and community service. He recently completed his seventh season in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears and participated in Super Bowl XLI in 2007. In both Statesboro and Chicago, Peterson has hosted events for youth, football camps and fundraisers to support the mission of sportsmanship and scholarship. He also participates in numerous community and charitable events on behalf of the Chicago Bears, the NFL, Chicago-area professional athletes and local and national associations.
Evidence of his dedication and service to his alma mater, Peterson was asked to co-chair Georgia Southern University’s Campaign for National Distinction and regularly returns to visit campus and his Georgia Southern family. His University honored him with a rare honor at his final regular-season game in Paulson Stadium in 2001. His retired number 3 jersey hangs alongside Tracy Ham’s number 8 jersey and Coach Erk Russell’s name as legacies of the Eagle Football program.
During Peterson’s Georgia Southern career, the Eagles won 88 percent of their games, four Southern Conference crowns and two national titles (1999 and 2000). His name appears in numerous categories of the University, the Southern Conference and the NCAA record books. Peterson still stands as the all-time top rusher in both the Football Bowl and Championship Subdivisions with 6,559 career regular-season yards gained. Peterson was a four-time All-America and All-SoCon pick, two-time SoCon Offensive Player of the Year’ and won the Walter Payton Award as a sophomore, honoring the most outstanding player in the country at the FCS level. He was the first -- and is still the only -- sophomore to have ever garnered that award.
Peterson will be honored next month by the Southern Conference as one of 10 individuals selected for the league’s inaugural Hall of Fame class. He joins the likes of Dick Groat (Duke), Sam Huff (West Virginia), Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice (North Carolina), Arnold Palmer (Wake Forest), Frank Selvy (Furman) and Jerry West (West Virginia) representing the very finest in a league with a tradition of exceptional student-athletes.
- Category: Football
- Published on Monday, 06 April 2009 00:21