During the next two months leading up to the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Sooners Illustrated will breakdown the Oklahoma Sooners’ roster, starting with Dominique Alexander (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Dwayne Orso (No. 99) and the incoming freshmen.
We’ll look at last year’s performance, the best-case scenario for this season – without projecting injuries – and what each player means to the short-term or long-term success of the Sooners.
No. 25 – RB Joe Mixon (6-foot-2, 217 pounds)
What happened last year: Mixon was suspended from the team for a full year because of an off-the-field incident. He returned for spring practice but didn’t play in the spring game. From all reports, Mixon showed through spring that he can be an immediate contributor – and a big-time one.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 7. As a true freshman, Mixon would probably have been the No. 3 running back on the depth chart before the start of the season. He’ll start this year as the No. 2 guy but is further from being the workhorse back than he might have been last year. He’ll receive plenty of carries and touches but teaming in the backfield with Samaje Perine will give Oklahoma an incredible thunder-and-lightning combination. Perine has proven that his thunder is real. Mixon needs to prove that he can be the lightning counterpart.
Best-case scenario for this season: Last season in a run-heavy offense, Oklahoma totaled 443 carries by running backs. That number might drop a little but not by much. There will still be about 400 carries to go around, and it would be likely that Mixon will see at least 125 – with about 20 receptions thrown in to the mix. Half a dozen touchdowns isn’t out of the question, and it would make sense that Mixon could finish with 950 total yards. The No. 1 running back in the 2014 class will finally be able to show his skills.