Peterson was arguably the greatest freshman ever in college football history, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting. In that freshman season, he ran for 1925 yards on 339 carries.
The next two years were plagued by injuries. In the first conference game in his sophomore season, Peterson sprained his ankle against Kansas State. Despite the injury, he still managed to run for 1208 yards.
Midway through his junior season, Peterson was en route to a potential Heisman-winning year, when he broke his collarbone diving into the end zone against Iowa State. He missed the rest of the season, before returning for the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State. When Peterson suffered the injury, he was only 150 yards shy of breaking Billy Sims’ school record for career rushing yards. He carried the ball for 77 yards against Boise State, so he fell 73 yards short of Sims record.
Peterson finished with 4045 rushing yards in his career, which was over the course of slightly more than two full seasons due to his injuries. Had Peterson remained healthy, he undoubtedly would have challenged Ron Dayne’s all-time rushing record. Had he remained healthy and stayed in school for his senior season, he would have set the record at an almost impossible mark.