RECRUITING: Georgia FB looking at OU

Georgia's top FB lists Oklahoma in his top seven, but could distance keep him from visitng Norman?


With more and more teams going to two running backs in the backfield, the fullback is coming back in vogue and Brannan is one of the very best fullbacks in the country.

"Last season we had a very talented and intelligent tailback in Micah Andrews, who rushed for over 2,000 yards and signed with Wake Forrest," said Southerland. "So, I played mostly fullback last year, but this year I will move around some. I will still be called a fullback, but we will run some split-back, offset-I, and I will be the one-back sometimes."

Southerland finished with 600 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns a year ago and is considered one of the best blocking fullbacks in the country.

"We have a very good running back coach named Jim Lofton, who used to be our head coach, but he is now 75 years old and just helps out coaching at different spots," said Southerland. "Coach Lofton has really helped me with my blocking. I think playing fullback is going to be a lot of fun, because you have to do so many different things. You have to be big enough to play, but also fast and quick enough to carry the ball and catch the ball out of the backfield. I got a chance to catch some screens and such and I think I proved that I can catch the ball."

Southerland can bench 350 pounds, squats 545 and he has a 40-inch vertical jump. Southerland attended 'The Countdown to Signing Day' camp at Georgia Tech this summer and was very impressive. Southerland has been offered by 17 different schools, but he is working to narrow down his choices.

"It is very difficult to narrow down your schools," said Southerland. "Every day it seems that I change my mind on one or two of the schools, so I am struggling with that right now. Right now I like Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Notre Dame.

"Oklahoma and Notre Dame are kind of far away from home, but they are both great football programs. I don't know a great deal about Oklahoma, except they run a diverse offense and they use both a fullback and a tailback. Their fullback is used in a number of different ways. I know that Oklahoma plays some great football and I know that they won a National Championship a couple of years ago. I have seen them plenty of times on television.

"Oklahoma was the first offer that I received and I was impressed that Coach (Cale) Gundy stepped up and offered me before anybody else," Southerland continued. "I think he is a great guy and look forward to when I can talk to him again."

So do any of seven schools you listed stand out at this point?

"I really don't have a favorite at this time. I wish that I did, but I don't so everything is really totally up in the air."

Southerland has qualified.

Editors note: OU has decided that if they can find a great fullback they will sign one. OU doesn't have an adequate replacement for J.D. Runnells on the roster, and if he gets hurt next year OU would have to move a tight end to the fullback spot. In reality, OU's offense would be hurt a great deal if Runnells goes down, because they don't have another natural fullback on the roster. If OU can sign Souterlandm, or somebody like him, they will because they need to get another pure fullback into the program.

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