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Rivals Crossover Series: No. 1s in 2004, Dwight Howard vs. Adrian Peterson

The Rivals Crossover Series is a weeklong look at some historic figures in football and basketball, merging our two sports into one storyline.

In this piece, national football recruiting director Mike Farrell and national basketball analyst Eric Bossi look at the No 1 player from each sport and compare their national influence and success. Here we look at the class of 2004.



The top 10 football-basketball combo prospects

No. 1 vs. No. 1 (2003): LeBron James vs. Ernie Sims


Basketball: Dwight Howard 


Bossi’s take: One of the most dominant and successful big men of the era, Howard rose to the top of an absolutely loaded high school class of 2004 and didn’t disappoint. He had no need for college and was the No. 1 pick of the Orlando Magic because of his defensive dominance, rebounding and freak show athleticism.

His numbers in the NBA speak for themselves. An eight-time all-star, three-time Defensive Player of the Year, five-time rebounding champ.

Howard has more than backed up his No. 1 ranking.


Football: Adrian Peterson 

Farrell’s take: Peterson was and still is the best running back I’ve scouted in Rivals history, and he went on to a legendary career at Oklahoma and in the NFL. He’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer and is still in the league racking up numbers. He has 14,216 career rushing yards and has more than lived up to the hype.



And the winner is ... 

This is a good one. Howard is a likely Hall of Famer and easily one of the most successful big men of his generation, but Peterson is a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and will go down as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.

Definitely an interesting matchup here, but Peterson gets the nod.