Adrian Peterson: In His Own Words


Adrian Peterson’s athletic ability was apparent from the start; he was a two-time all-state, all-area selection and team MVP at Santa Fe High School in Alachua, Florida. He went on to play football at Georgia Southern University, where he dominated the field from 1998-2001. He finished his college career with 6,559 rushing yards, a Division I football record. He was inducted into the Georgia Southern hall of fame in 2012. From there, he made it to the NFL and played professionally for ten years with the Chicago Bears.    

            His ability to speak publicly, however, did not come so naturally– he struggled with stuttering growing up, but Peterson didn't let other students’ teasing stop him, and it paid off. "I didn't change who I was. I was still active with my sports.” This drive and determination undoubtedly helped Peterson persevere and succeed in athletics.

            Despite his heroics on the field, his life off of it was not without tragedy, as Peterson’s 6-year-old son, AJ, passed away earlier this year after the child was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor last year.

            Since his son’s passing, Peterson has used the spotlight to help and educate others, dividing his time between being a motivational speaker and trainer at the All Pro Sports Performance Gym in the Chicago area.  

  • The best advice I ever got was to just be myself and not to pretend to be someone I was not.
  • I was driven by a need to overcome the obstacles in my life.
  • My biggest motivation is being successful at what I do, no matter what I am doing at the time.
  • My toughest opponents on the football field were whoever I was playing every Sunday in the NFL because they were the best in the sport.
  • My toughest opponent off the field was overcoming my speech impediment as a child.
  • The main ideas that I try to convey during my motivational speeches are…to dream big, try to overcome all obstacles with patience, and touch someone’s life every day.
  • Faith in God was instrumental in helping me to get through my son’s passing.


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