Oklahoma fans have been absolutely spoiled with the production at running back through the years. This season is no exception with Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.
And next year shouldn’t be either with Abdul Adams. Still, almost everybody knew running backs coach Jay Boulware was going to have to hit a home run at the position for the 2017 class.
It started in March with the commitment of junior college prospect Marcelias Sutton. Once committed to NC State, Sutton was quick to jump on the offer from the Sooners.
A month later OU landed its top running back target at the time in Scout 300 prospect Trey Sermon. Despite being from Georgia, Sermon has already made multiple visits to Norman, and OU continues to do things well with the back.
The question heading into the summer was whether or not OU was going to go after a third back. It was an absolute wait-and-see moment.
For one thing, we still don’t know what exactly is going to happen with Mixon and Perine. Both are going to be eligible for the NFL Draft after this season and both have shown why on multiple occasions why they don’t need to spend any more time in Norman.
The real kicker came before the season, though, when it was revealed Rodney Anderson would miss the entire season because of a neck injury. That’s back-to-back years where Anderson has missed essentially the entire season.
No way of knowing Anderson’s health in the future, Boulware had to get back in attack mode. It always felt like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was going to be J.K. Dobbins.
But as his commitment to Ohio State became even more secure in recent weeks, the Sooners had to look to another spot and found it with Mansfield (Texas) High’s Kennedy Brooks.
This is a name OU fans got to know during the spring, especially after a nice visit to OU in March. However, when a commitment didn’t follow, there were a lot of rumblings as to what in the heck was going on.
In the summer, seemed like out of sight and out of mind with Brooks pegged to head to Madison and commit to Wisconsin.
The secret was out Monday morning when Boulware teased a commitment on Twitter and Brooks surprised a lot of people with his pledge.
Brooks is OU’s highest-ranked running back commit since Mixon and is an absolute throwback when it comes to his demeanor and running style. Nothing flashy about Brooks, but he has been absolutely effective.
He has rushed for 1,185 yards on 119 carries with 16 touchdowns, averaging more than nine yards per carry. And he has done that against some of the best competition in the Dallas Metroplex area.
There have been murmurs, especially among the fans, about Boulware and whether or not he’s the right fit at running back or if Cale Gundy should go back to the spot. This was a big year for Boulware to show what he can, and he did just that.