Season OU 11: No. 7 RB Alex Ross

Dynamic running back is a character all is own off the field

For the next 10 days Sooners Illustrated will count down the top 11 players of the season for Oklahoma as voted by Bob Przybylo and Justin Hite during the season.

No. 7 running back Alex Ross (40 points)

There might not have been a player who could change the game with one play like Ross could: On the Oklahoma roster, in the Big 12 Conference or around the nation.

Game-breaking speed is unteachable, and Ross has it.

He didn’t turn into the running back that Oklahoma needed, especially after Keith Ford went down, but as a kick returner, there weren’t many better.

Ross, who never finished higher than third in any OU 11 this season, finished tied for second in the country with two kick-off return touchdowns and third in the nation with a 32.0 kick-off return average.

“When you play with speed like that, good things happen,” Ross said after the Sooners’ victory against Texas. “Quote, unquote.”

At one point this season, Ross was the best in both categories before teams started taking him away.

“It’s not as easy,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said earlier this year when asked why teams kick to Ross. “Where are you going to kick it? Out of bounds? . . . It’s just not that easy. You have to kick it somewhere.”

As the season wore on Ross became a better running back. He was just a speed guy to start but seemed to be putting it together late in the year – the vision, the pace and breaking tackles.

The complete story of Ross wouldn’t be written without knowing him without his helmet as well.

Considered a fashionist-o of sorts by his teammates, Ross has a personality all his own. A bit of an odd ball, teammates have said it’s tough to tell when he’s serious or joking.

He called Aaron Ripkowski a Viking who feels no pain and said earlier this season that on one kick-off return he felt like he was floating on air – or ice.

“Everyone likes to have fun, but once he gets on the field, he’s all business,” linebacker Dominique Alexander said. “Outside the field, he’s a character.”

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