Peter Van Valkenburg Athlete Profile | BYU Cougar Club

Peter Van Valkenburg Athlete Profile

#28 Peter Van Valkenburg

Peter Van Valkenburg
Position: Tailback Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 Roster Years: 1969-1972 Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT Hall of Fame: 1983

1983 Hall of Fame Inductee


During his BYU career, he was affectionately known as "Fleet Pete Van Valkenburg" and fleet was definitely a good word to describe one of BYU's greatest runningbacks.

"Fleet Pete" was a powerful runner with the ability to accelerate quickly, break tackles, and elude members of the defensive secondary. He could get the short yardage but could also break the long run, which kept BYU's opponents guessing. In fact, he left many a defender guessing as he led the Cougars by winning the NCAA rushing title in 1972 with an average of 138.6 yards per game.

It was in the 1972 season that "Fleet Pete" was also named All-American. Following this, Pete went on to play in three post-season games-the Senior Bowl, the Blue-Gray game and the All-American game. "Fleet Pete" was successful in season and after, leading his team in the Senior Bowl by being named the most valuable player on offense.

Van Valkenburg was drafted in the third round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints and would play that season with the Buffalo Bills. He split time during the 1974 season between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears before finishing his professional career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL in 1975.


  • 1972 Universal Sports Second Team
  • 1972  AP Third Team

After two solid years in 1970 and 1971, Van Valkenburg gave BYU one of the special seasons by a back in school history as a senior in 1972. That year, he led the nation in rushing with 1,386 yards to go along with 12 touchdowns even though he wasn't in the NCAA top 10 in carries. He also finished second in yards from scrimmage to earn first-team all-WAC and AP third-team All-American.

For his BYU career, Van Valkenburg carried the ball 456 times for 2,392 yards and 24 touchdowns to go along with 25 catches for 280 yards and two scores.

1970 | Sophomore Year

  • 103 rushing attempts for 431 yards and four touchdowns
  • Eight receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown

1971 | Junior Year

  • 121 rushing attempts for 655 yards and eight touchdowns
  • Seven receptions for 80 yards

1972 | Senior Year

  • 232 rushing attempts for 1443 yards and 12 touchdowns
  • 10 receptions for 98 yards