Everybody knew the 2017 class was going to be crucial for Oklahoma at running back. The coaches had to recruit the position as if they expected Samaje Perine and/or Joe Mixon to leave early and enter the NFL Draft.
As it turned out, both of them did just that. But OU doesn’t panic and doesn’t regroup. If there’s one position where OU stands tall, it’s running back.
The Sooners reload, and it feels like they did just that with Marcelias Sutton, Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks.
On mid-year enrollees Sermon, Sutton:
“We just got off the road this week. We haven’t been out on the field with them yet. Trey Sermon and Marcelias Sutton are here already. Great reviews on them just in a week’s period of time from our strength staff. It’ll benefit them and us in a great way having them here all winter and spring. That’ll be a plus for us to replace those two guys. We love Kennedy Brooks, too, a high school guy that will be coming in in June.” – head coach Bob Stoops
On immediate playing time being available help in recruiting pitch:
“It helps. Those players recognized how those players played in their freshman years and how well they played in their first time on the field. And it helps just the success they had the last three years, and now they’re gone. Somebody has to get those carries. It definitely is attractive to those running backs.” – head coach Bob Stoops
On looking for next Samaje/Joe:
“I wouldn’t say exactly in their mold, but it’s the whole deal of are you going to go find two guys that are as good as those two were for us last year, probably not. But you’ve just got to replace the production. That’s the key, whether it takes five guys to do it or it takes two guys to do it, the focus can’t be so much on finding the next Samaje or the next Joe. It’s let’s go find guys that are good enough players that we can get the production out of them to match or exceed what those guys did. I think we found that we’ve got a nice mix there.
“We feel like Marcelias can come in and do a lot of really good things. He’s different than those guys. He’s incredibly explosive, one of the most explosive players that I’ve ever recruited or seen in person, just a great worker. He’s obviously smaller than those guys but is very, very dynamic, can do a lot of things for us.
“I see Kennedy Brooks a little bit more in the Samaje mold. I don’t know there’s as many spectacular plays from a guy like him and he has his fair share. He’s just a guy that wears on you. The guy ran for 6,000 yards in the last two years in one of the best areas for high school football in the country and was incredibly consistent. Every coach you talk to in the metroplex says this one of the best running backs we’ve ever seen. He’s just a really steady guy, kind of like Samaje.
“Trey probably has the most intriguing skill set in that he’s a big guy, he’s the biggest of the group but he also catches the ball very well. I think he’ll bring some versatility to us. We felt like we got a nice mix of guys, both age and skill set that we’ll be excited to work with a couple of them here this spring and then get Kennedy here in the fall.” – offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley