National Football Foundation

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Adrian Peterson Set for Oct. 14 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, Presented by Fidelity Investments
Georgia Southern and the National Football Foundation will jointly honor Peterson, a 2017 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, as the Eagles host New Mexico State.
Published: 10/12/2017 10:30:00 AM

IRVING, Texas (Oct. 12, 2017) – Georgia Southern University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Adrian Peterson with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place Saturday, Oct. 14, during the Eagles’ game against New Mexico State. Coverage of the game will start at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Originally planned for Sept. 9, the Salute was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.

“What an amazing honor to be recognized for such a prestigious award,” Peterson said in a Georgia Southern release in January. “I am grateful for the chance to represent my hometown of Alachua, Florida, and my parents, Porter and Reatha Peterson, who set me up for success from the very start. Thank you, Georgia Southern University, for the opportunity to further my education and receive a college degree while playing the game of football. Lastly, sincere thanks to the committee for considering me worthy and allowing me to join such an elite class of men.”

The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee’s Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.

“Adrian Peterson is one of the most decorated players in college football history,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “He did it all at Georgia Southern, winning national championships and the Walter Payton Award while setting the Division I rushing record. We are thrilled to honor him at Paulson Stadium.”

A four-time First Team All-American, Peterson remains the all-time leading rusher in Division I (FBS and FCS) history with 6,559 yards. The only sophomore to ever win the Walter Payton Award as the FCS Player of the Year, Peterson finished among the top three vote-getters for the award all four seasons of his career.

The two-time Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year led the Eagles to three national championship appearances, winning back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000. Peterson holds virtually every rushing record in school and conference history, including career rushing yards (6,559), rush attempts (996), rushing touchdowns (84) and points (524), among many others.

The four-time first team all-conference performer led Georgia Southern to four consecutive SoCon championships. In 1998, Peterson set the NCAA record for most-rushing yards by a freshman with 1,932, and he finished his career as Division I’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, a record that lasted until 2015.

A 14-time SoCon Player of the Week selection, he rushed for 100 or more yards in 48 consecutive games. Peterson is a member of the Georgia Southern and SoCon halls of fame, and Sporting News renamed its FCS Offensive Player of the Year Award in his honor in 2014.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, Peterson played for the franchise from 2002-09 and participated in Super Bowl XLI with the team.

Peterson is one of the founders and owners of All Pro Sports Performance in Illinois. He wrote a book titled, “Don’t Dis My Abilities,” regarding his struggles with a speech impediment and donated a portion of the proceeds to a scholarship fund at Georgia Southern. Honored as Georgia Southern’s “Champion of Life” at the GoDaddy Bowl in 2015, Peterson helps raise awareness for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a rare, inoperable brainstem tumor of which his son died from in 2015. He also hosts youth football camps and serves as a motivational speaker.

Peterson joins Georgia Southern quarterback Tracy Ham (1983-86) as the only two Eagles in the Hall of Fame.

Including the 2017 class, only 987 players and 214 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.26 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 148 years. In other words, only two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.

The 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday, Dec. 5. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Bob Crable (Notre Dame), Marshall Faulk (San Diego State), Kirk Gibson (Michigan State), Matt Leinart (Southern California), Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Bob McKay (Texas), Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M), Adrian Peterson (Georgia Southern), Mike Ruth (Boston College), Brian Urlacher (New Mexico) and coaches Danny Ford (Clemson, Arkansas), Larry Kehres (Mount Union [Ohio]) and Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina). For more information on the Dinner, please contact Will Rudd at or by calling 972.556.1000.

The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1, 2018, and they will take part in a series of events at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta where their accomplishments will be forever immortalized.

Remaining Scheduled 2017 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes
Presented by Fidelity Investments
(Chronological Order)





Oct. 14

Marshall Faulk

San Diego State (1991-93)

Boise State

Oct. 14

Adrian Peterson

Georgia Southern (1998-2001)

New Mexico State

Oct. 21

Coach Steve Spurrier

Duke (1987-89)


Oct. 27

Mike Ruth

Boston College (1982-85)

Florida State

Oct. 28

Coach Danny Ford

Clemson (1978-89)

Georgia Tech

Nov. 4

Dat Nguyen

Texas A&M (1995-98)


The 2017 season marks the eighth season that Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans to higher education employees, is serving as the national presenting sponsor of the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes. The salutes are one component of a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. At the start of the 2014 season, Fidelity became the presenting sponsor of The William V. Campbell Trophy®, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award, which will be presented for the 28th time in 2017.

Other highlights of the sponsorship include Fidelity becoming the first presenting sponsor of the organization’s prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards and helping launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives around the country.

About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $6.4 trillion, including managed assets of $2.3 trillion as of August 31, 2017, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 26 million people invest their own life savings, 23,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 12,500 financial advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs more than 40,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at

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