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Redskins’ Adrian Peterson wanted to join the NFL after his freshman year

Adrian Peterson, Redskins

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson had an impressive career at Oklahoma, but if Maurice Clarett had won his court case, he would have only been there for one year.

NFL rules state that you must be out of high school for at least three years before you declare for the draft, but Clarett sued for his right to come out of college into the 2004 NFL Draft. If he would have won, Peterson would have left college:

“I can tell you, when that situation happened with Maurice Clarett, I was elated,” Peterson told SI.com. “I was like, ‘Yes, thank you Jesus,’ because I just knew that was the route I was going to take, and I would have taken it. Think about the type of year I had my freshman year [at Oklahoma]. Come on. Like, I’m out of there. I’m in the NFL already.”

If Peterson would have left after his freshman year, he would have been in the 2005 draft, where Cedric Benson went fourth overall. Peterson statistically had a better year than Benson, and he is convinced he would have went higher:

“The one guy I used as an example was Cedric Benson,” Peterson said. “He was a senior my freshman year, and I out-performed him that year, so I was just like, If he could go play in the NFL, why couldn’t I? He went [fourth] overall, and you’ve got a guy that’s younger, with less wear and tear on his body. Where do you put me if he went [fourth]?”

Adrian Peterson has obviously had a great career after going seventh overall to the Minnesota Vikings in 2007, but one has to wonder what would have happened if he was allowed out after his freshman season at Oklahoma.