When you back up the best running back in the country, you don't expect to get much attention. However, when you are playing that role for Oklahoma you know people will know who you are.
Junior Allen Patrick came from Independence Community College to OU, where he struggled at both safety and corner before moving to running back in the season. Patrick saw his first action against Kansas State in game four last season and finished the year with 136 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns.
Overall, Patrick is one of the best athletes on the Sooner squad and OU running back coach Cale Gundy says the Sooners have the best 1-2 punch at running back in college football.
Patrick, who is expected to be one of the Sooners kick-off return men this year, talked with OUInsider.com after a recent practice about the upcoming season.
JH: It looks like you are having a great camp and you must have had a great summer as well, because you got some of your weight back that you lost when you broke your leg in junior college didn't you?
AP: "I am picking it back up. Everything is coming along for me."
JH: What did you get your weight back up to?
AP: "I am at about 195 right now. I am pushing it to 200 and I am trying to get it back up to my normal size (215).
JH: You were good last year when you moved back to running back, but don't you feel you will have a better year this year?
AP: "Yeah, but there is still a lot more there that I have to gain back. I am getting strong — working out with Smitty helped me out a lot. He got me back to my normal speed, normal cutting ability and all of that is finally coming together for me."
JH: Smitty has said that you were great in testing, so what did you test at?
AP: "I high-jumped 39 ½ and I benched press 275 six times. I ran the forty in 4.45, so I am getting back to what I used to be."
JH: You are an outstanding running back, but you came to OU as a safety. Were you actually better in junior college at safety than running back?
AP: "I really can't explain that, but once I am on the field I am going to do whatever to play and perform at the best of my abilities."
JH: At one time did you think you were a better safety?
AP: "Everybody always told me that, but I always had it in my heart to run the ball. That is where the game is productive at. Once you get that ball in your hands you can make things happen."
JH: In junior college, did they ever put you on offense to see how well you could run the ball?
AP: "At my Juco, no. But when I got here they switched me over to see what I had and I gave them what I had. That finally went out and did it for me."
JH: You and AD are really pushing each other aren't you?
AP: "Oh yeah. That is what coming along and being a teammate means. He pushes me and I push him. It is only going to make both of us better."
JH: You are going to get the chance to get several carries a game yourself. You have to be looking forward to that don't you?
AP: "Oh yeah. There is nothing like running behind AD. I like my role on the team for the time being."
JH: What does Paul Thompson at quarterback do for the offense?
AP: "He brings a little more speaking ability to team. He brings everybody together and I think he is going to get everything going for us."
JH: So he brings leadership to the offense?
AP: "Yes, most definitely. You have to have a quarterback with leadership because that is what leads your whole team. You have to have that to win."
JH: Do you and Eric Huggins every talk about the old days at Conway, S.C.?
AP: "Yeah, a little bit. But those days are over and it is time to look ahead and see what we have here."
JH: You had to run the gauntlet drill after practice, so what happened?
AP: "I fumbled once in practice and we kind of have something behind that. Every time we mess up in practice we have to work extra to get it back."
Two Minute Drill: Allen Patrick
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