It was a dream season for Oklahoma in 2015, but unfortunately for Rodney Anderson, all he could do was sit and watch.
Anderson, a true freshman running back, suffered a season-ending leg injury on special teams in OU’s win at Tennessee.
The injury took away his 2015 season but gave him a medical redshirt season. A do-over if you want to say for Anderson to come back and start making a difference.
“All the time I had off, had a good chance to watch Samaje (Perine) and Joe (Mixon) and talk with Coach (Jay) Boulware and get to know the system more,” Anderson said. “So I’m more further ahead with my mental aspect of the game. As far as the physical aspect, got a lot of good time to get my legs under me and get more agile and bigger.”
All Anderson could do was use the experience as a learning opportunity and wait for his moment for when he could start inching his way back.
Anderson’s time in Norman has been marred by injuries so far. He also sprained his MCL after the first couple of weeks in spring last season.
He’s not doubting himself, and he never got down on himself. He said he’s back to 100 percent now and ready to start show exactly what he can do.
“Well, I just want to come in and prove to the coaches that I know what I’m doing,” Anderson said. “I was there as far as the mental aspect and show that I could still be there for the physical aspect, too.”
Anderson will get a lot of chances to shine this spring. With Samaje Perine not fully participating because of his ankle surgery, a lot of reps will be given to Anderson.
Anderson was a highly sought after recruit from a powerhouse at Katy (Texas) High, and the general feeling has been this is the type of offense Anderson could thrive in.
“I love this offense, for sure,” Anderson said. “It’s really fun, really fast paced. It’s not as complicated as it looks. It’s a lot of knowing – know a few things and know them all and execute.”
It has been said you can never have too many good quarterbacks, but it’s getting the same way at running back. Especially at a school like OU where the Sooners have been able to produce one quality back after another.
The key will be for Anderson to always be 100 percent prepared because there’s no telling when that moment will arrive.
“Things happen. Injuries happen,” Anderson said. “Next person has to be ready to step up. Going into this year, hope everyone can stay healthy and we all get a chance to contribute and get a chance to go back to the playoff and national championship.”