Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/5/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson signed the biggest contract in NFL history given out to a running back before the 2011 season opened. Now he's sharing the wealth. The University of Oklahoma announced Thursday that Peterson who signed a seven-year, 100 million contract last September with 36 million guaranteed gave a 1 million donation to the University's athletics department, the largest gift ever given to the program by a former Sooners football player. "This was something that I had been thinking about doing for a long time," Peterson said in an report on soonersports.com, the website for the school's athletic programs. "I always hoped to be in a position to be able to donate back to the University of Oklahoma and make it an even better place; do whatever I could to help the university that did so much for me. "It was something that I always wanted to do and there just came a time when I got established and comfortable enough to make it happen. It was a no-brainer to do it and I am thankful that I'm in a position to give back to OU and to show my appreciation." Peterson, 27, agreed to his big NFL deal with the Vikings last fall after tallying at least 1,200 yards and double-digit touchdowns his first four seasons after being drafted by Minnesota with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2007 draft. He was named the NFL offensive rookie of the year in 2007 after rushing for 1,341 yards, including an NFL-record 296 yards in one game. Peterson is currently rehabbing from knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and torn medial collateral ligament at the end of last season. He finished just shy of 1,000 yards last season for the first time in his NFL career after dealing with a high ankle sprain and the knee injury, which cut short his season in week 16. Injuries caused the standout back to slip to the Vikings in 2007 because of a collarbone injury, which had scared teams away. Peterson was coming off a three-year career with Oklahoma where he accumulated 4,045 rushing yards, the third-highest total in school history, and was a three-time All-Big 12 selection. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting as a freshman in 2004 when he set Oklahoma's school-record with 1,925 yards rushing, also an NCAA freshman record. In recognition of Peterson's donation to Oklahoma, the football team's meeting room will be renamed "The Adrian Peterson Team Meeting Room." Peterson's donation will help support the contruction of a new student-housing facility on campus named Headington Hall, and will also establish the Adrian Peterson Football Scholarship Endowment. In the report on soonersports.com, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said, "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. 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." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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