Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher has a home. Former Sooners running back Samaje Perine was picked by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round Saturday in the 2017 NFL Draft, No. 114 overall.
It was a guarantee for Perine to be drafted, the question was simply by what team and what round.
Perine has been known for his strength and toughness throughout his OU career and put that on display at the NFL Combine two months ago. Perine did 30 reps in the bench press, by far the most of any running back at the event.
He finished his career at OU as the all-time leading rusher in school history with 4,122 yards, all done in just three seasons.
He averaged six yards per carry during his career and had more than 1,000 yards in each season despite the fact he was hampered with injuries each year.
Perine introduced himself to the college football world as a freshman when he ran for an FBS single-game record of 427 yards in a 41-7 win vs. Kansas.
“With his strength and power, no one is taking Samaje down with arm tackles, and plenty have failed even with form tackles,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said. “He's very good at finding the right crease and he really punishes defenders. He's very powerful in his lower body and he has enough speed to break off big runs like he did for us for three years. He's as tough a guy as you can have.”
There will be questions about how Perine projects in the NFL and his ability to be an every down back, but there’s no questioning how valuable he will be for short-yardage situations.
As quiet and humble and soft spoken an athlete you’ll find in today’s generation, Perine always put OU first and his individual accomplishments second.
That attitude has paid off with his selection this weekend. Perine joins fellow former OU running back Joe Mixon as Sooners taken in the Draft so far. Mixon was selected No. 48 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook was chosen No. 110 overall by Jacksonville.