The Other Side

Earlier this year the coaching staff went to Brandon Crow to talk to him about making a move to offense to provide some depth at fullback. Crow took the assignment on good terms as he wants to do what it takes to help his team. He spoke with SI a little about the switch and how it all played out.

Last year, things snowballed and really snowballed in a hurry for one Sooner linebacker now converted to a fullback for the 2009 season.

Former OU linebacker Brandon Crow, now a member of the other side of the ball, was playing behind middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds in the rotation until Reynolds suffered his ACL injury against Texas in the Red River Rivalry game.

Then, he was forced to enter the most hostile of environments, and frankly, he struggled.

The Sooners simply couldn't find an answer for solving the problems in the middle of their defense late in the game, and certainly while it wasn't all Crow's fault, a lot of the blame fell square on the young sophomore's shoulders.

So, now he's going to get a chance on offense for his junior year, a decision made in the off-season.

"I kind of talked a little bit about it with Coach Wilson this summer, just he kind of shot me the idea just to see how I'd react, I think, and I told him that, ‘You know, if it's the best opportunity for me and for the team, then I was all for it,'" Crow said. "So I talked to Coach Venables a little bit before two-a-days and that's kind of when everything got rolling."

Something that definitely made it an easier decision was evaluating which position he could help the Sooners most at.

With the depth at linebacker, there was probably a limited chance of playing time, but in some of the blocking schemes at fullback, the Sooners could utilize him more.

"[Making an impact is] definitely something," Crow said. "I mean this is my fourth year. I've seen the field a little bit. Not as much as I want to, so that's definitely something, maybe another opportunity to help the team out a little bit and get myself on the field."

He could undoubtedly help the offense in short yardage situations, if he blocks like fullback Matt Clapp and tight end Brody Eldridge.

"I'm definitely looking forward to that, and, you know, just watching guys like Matt, Brody, those guys, playing fullback it's just incredible, and so you just try to see them just killing people and try to emulate them," Crow said.

And Crow's already got his chance to do some of that to his former teammates on the defensive side of the ball.

"I've had a couple pretty good [shots]," Crow said. "I think I kind of caught Keenan Clayton by surprise a little bit one time on a power [play], knocked his helmet off."

But even though the transition seems to be moving smoothly, it was still hard for him to move away from his former position.

"I love to play linebacker, and really I've had a great time here playing linebacker, and so, a lot of my friends are linebackers, so from that stand point, [it's] hard to leave those guys," Crow said. "But talking to Coach Wilson, it seemed like it was going to be a good fit for both me and for the team because there's not a lot of depth there—or there wasn't—and so it really wasn't a hard change. I was all for it."

And that's the basis of why he's content with where he's at, taking up a new role this season.

"I mean, everything that happened I guess happened for a reason," Crow said. "I'm here now, and I'm doing my best job I can do at fullback."


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