Born to Porter R. and Reatha M. Peterson, his father works at a plant that makes Energizer batteries. Adrian Peterson was a two-time all-state, all-area selection and team MVP at Santa Fe High School in Alachua, Florida where he rushed for 4,949 yards during his prep career to earn All-America honors from ESPN and Blue Chip Illustrated. Peterson ran for 1,526 yards and 17 TDs on 185 carries (8.2 avg.) to earn Florida Class 4A Player-of-the-Year honors as a senior. He also lettered four times in track and two times each in weightlifting and basketball while in high school.