Dec. 30, 2006
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -Still pondering a decision about his future, Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson isn't worried about being labeled as injury-prone.
2004 Heisman Trophy runner-up will play in the Fiesta Bowl after missing the Sooners' previous seven games with a broken collarbone. He has also missed time with injuries to his shoulder and ankle in three seasons at Oklahoma.
"It's football. It's a physical sport. Things happen, you get injured," Peterson said Saturday at the Fiesta Bowl media day. "It's people's job to go out there and speculate and say that. I'm not the type of person that lets anything bother me, so that hasn't really been a concern of mine."
Peterson is considered a first-round NFL draft prospect - though he says he hasn't decided whether he'll return for his senior season - and can prove that he is healed with a strong performance against No. 9 Boise State (12-0).
"I wouldn't mind making a point, but I don't actually feel like I need to go out here and make a point," Peterson said. "I feel like everything will come like things have been happening for me throughout the years. Just keeping the mind-set and the same attitude, go out there and run the ball hard, do what you do best and everything will take care of itself."
Needing 151 yards to become Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher, Peterson said he's hoping to eclipse the 200-yard mark.
"I don't want to brag, but that's one of my goals," Peterson said.
Before the season, another of Peterson's goals was to return to New York with a chance to win the Heisman. He earned the highest finish in the Heisman voting coming in second as a freshman, but was at home sweeping the floor when the 2005 ceremony began.
This year, he was again at home and watched part of the announcement on television with his roommate, cornerback Marcus Walker.
"It was kind of the reality that `Dang! There it goes happening again,"' Peterson said. "I just look at it like God's got his plan laid out for me, so I'm just going to keep the faith."
Peterson said he thought Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith was "well deserving of the Heisman Trophy."
"A great athlete a great arm, just a great athlete," Peterson said. "The guy is truly blessed with talent."