© Greg Powers

Will Rodney Anderson's injury force OU to find another running back for 2017 class?

With Rodney Anderson hurt, does OU need to head back to the recruiting trail?

The news late last week about Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson missing the entire 2016 season with a neck injury he suffered in the final camp scrimmage was a terrible way to close out what had seemed to be a pretty solid two weeks for OU.

There are a lot of ripple effects to this one. Obviously now there is no way at all true freshman Abdul Adams redshirts. You had the feeling that wouldn’t occur anyway, but now you could definitely see Adams getting some touches and not just working on special teams.

The quartet of Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon, Daniel Brooks and Adams will no doubt hold down the fort with no difficulty.

But what about 2017? If Perine and/or Mixon leave, you know Brooks is gone as a redshirt senior. The question will be asked about where does Anderson fit in for the long term? For some people, the mind is willing. The heart is there. But the body is unable to do so.

Anderson was a major stud recruit for OU’s 2015 class and everybody felt OU hit a major home run in luring Anderson away from Texas schools.

A mid-year enrollee, things just haven’t worked out. An MCL sprain in his first spring. A broken leg as a true freshman. A neck injury just as he had worked all the way back. Are these fluke injuries, or a sign Anderson’s body might not allow him to make the plays he absolutely can make?

That’s the question OU coaches will have to ask because each scholarship is oh so important, and running backs coach Jay Boulware will have to decide if it’s time to hit the trail.

The success of Adams in Norman actually convinced me OU was done at running back with Scout 300 prospect Trey Sermon and junior college jack-of-all-trades Marcelias Sutton.

So where would OU look for another piece?


La Grange (Texas) High’s J.K. Dobbins

This is the obvious answer, right? Dobbins, before he committed to Ohio State back in March, even admitted OU was his favorite school. There were reports, though, he wasn’t a fan of the “reserve your spot” mentality and Columbus was the call.

OU hasn’t given up. Not Boulware, not commits from SoonerSquad17. He’s much different back than Anderson but that shouldn’t eliminate him from contention.

If Dobbins is open, we should find out pretty quickly in the next month with the mega-showdown on tap between OU and Ohio State.

One Scout 100 prospect from Texas who is down to OU and Ohio State has already confirmed he’ll be there in Jeffrey Okudah so maybe Dobbins will, too?

Dobbins has not publicly given anybody a reason to doubt his commitment to the Buckeyes, but OU has been able to sway some prospects for this class that you probably wouldn’t have seen before.


Lakeland (Fla.) High’s A.J. Davis

At 5-foot-11, Davis brings a lot more size to the table than Dobbins. It’s clear going back to the spring and early summer that OU was right there for Davis. If not his top choice, then easily in his top two or three.

However, there hasn’t been much talk at all regarding Davis and the Sooners the last couple of months. All of that could change in a hurry as OU could look to add yet another Scout 300 prospect to the already loaded SoonerSquad17 group.

The other option is an unknown one. Maybe there’s a senior-year sleeper Boulware wants to keep tabs on and see how things progress. It’s not panic time in Norman regarding the position, especially with Sermon and Sutton seemingly 100 percent solid.

No rash decisions are necessary, but OU might have to take a long look and see if Anderson can be a viable answer down the road.


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