Adrian Peterson reveals how the Texas Longhorns blew their shot at signing him
Over the years, a tiny little narrative formed around Texas’ football program, one that Mack Brown never could seem to shake: He passed on way too many quarterbacks who turned into stars.
You know the names. Robert Griffin III. Johnny Manziel. Jameis Winston. They all wanted to go to Texas, and for various reasons, Brown didn’t land any of them (In Mack’s defense, he did offer scholarships to Manziel and RG3 as defensive backs!).
Yet for all the talk about the quarterbacks, we found out Friday about another player who wanted to go to college in Austin — a player the Longhorns were lukewarm on. That player was none other than Adrian Peterson — that’s right, he wanted to go to Texas!
And while the Longhorns did offer him, Brown fumbled through the presentation enough that Peterson, the No. 1 high school player in the country his senior year, had no choice but to cross the Longhorns off his list. Here are the details, from Sports Illustrated’s incredible oral history of the Red River Rivalry.
Oh. My. Goodness. I’m sure that no one in Austin will get upset after reading this one, huh?
On the one hand, what Brown did was commendable. After all, he was looking out for the player he had, rather than making grandiose promises to a high schooler. Even if Peterson was a high schooler who was the unquestioned best player in the country, Mack could have lied to him, and he didn’t.
However, it’s not like Peterson demanded the starting job — he just said that he wanted to be considered for the spot. And somehow Mack said no!? How do you do that to the No. 1 player in the country? When all he’s asking for is a spot to compete?
Not to mention that one of the oldest rules in recruiting — something that everyone from Nick Saban to Urban Meyer to John Calipari have implemented through the years — is that no player, regardless of class, is guaranteed a starting spot. The best player will play, regardless of age. Heck, isn’t Alabama starting a true freshman at quarterback right now?
It really is incredible to look back on and wonder what the heck Brown was thinking. For all the success that Mack had at Texas, it seems like his time in Austin is starting to be defined by the recruits he missed on, rather than the ones he brought in.
Of course, Peterson got the last laugh. He rushed for 225 yards in his freshman season against Texas in a 12-0 win.