Looking Back at Brody Eldridge

Senior Brody Eldridge will not be able to participate in his final game as a Sooner, but instead he will be forced to cheer for his teammates from the sidelines. In this feature SI turns back the clock to remember his career.

Brody Eldridge made his commitment to the Sooners during an unofficial visit to see the campus over the summer of 2004. He picked OU over offers from the likes of Oklahoma. Arizona, and Kansas.

"I was so impressed with everything from academics to the athletics. I was so impressed with Coach (Bob) Stoops and Coach (Bobby Jack) Wright that I just didn't have any reason to go anywhere else," Eldridge informed Scout.com at the time of his commitment.

Eldridge, who was one of the fiercest competitors on the OU team during his years in the program, became known for his vicious blocking as a tight end.

But heading out of high school he thought he was destined to play on the defensive side of the ball for the Sooners at defensive end.

His high school career ended much like his Sooner career as he was only able to play 2 ½ games of his senior season at Prairie View High (Kan.).

Eldridge would enter the OU program after missing virtually all of his senior season and the lack of experience would make him a candidate for a red-shirt in 2005.

But he would burst back on the scene in the Spring of '06 after the coaches switched him to tight end.

He showed a knack as a great blocker and he was a solid compliment to TE starter Brody Eldridge.

"We moved Brody over to offense and we really like him as a tight end," said Coach Stoops. "He is a physical guy and can give us that physical blocker that we need. He has such a great way to go, but he is a talented guy who works hard, has a tough attitude about him, a big frame. We really feel like he had a chance to be good."

Coach would be right, but Eldridge would only play sparingly in '06. He hauled in three receptions.

In '07 Eldridge would experience his most fruitful season in the crimson and cream, as he would start six games and earn the distinction of being named as an All-Big 12 selection at fullback.

Eldridge would play multiple positions in his OU career
It was during this season that those who were close to the program started to say that Eldridge might actually be one of the best all-around players in the OU program.

"Coach Merv Johnson would say every week if you pick the best player on offense that it might be Brody Eldridge by the way he is playing," OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson stated. "However, he is doing things that are not flashy."

In '08 Eldridge would be recognized as leader by his teammates and he was named as a Sooner Captain, despite the fact he was only a junior. He was able to start the first four games of the season before missing three games due an ankle injury.

"Everyone likes those amazing runs by DeMarco Murray or Adrian Peterson, but when you look in front of them it's usually Brody knocking his guy down and clearing the way," Coach Stoops reported.

"He is knocking the guy off his feet or driving him back to make room for that exciting run that everybody likes. It is an unheralded position but he does it as well as anybody I've been around."

This year Eldridge was named as a Captain for a second consecutive year and because of numerous injuries along the offensive front he would go through the ringer and play multiple positions, showing his toughness and versatility.

He started year off at center, would move back to tight end, and then would move to offensive guard for the match-up with Texas despite only weighing in at about 250 pounds.

He would excel at all three positions, but the wear and tear ultimately caught up to him and he would suffer an AC Joint injury in the Nebraska game that would force him to miss the rest of the year.

Eldridge made the sacrifice to play all of the positions, because he cared about his teammates and he wanted to try to help them any way that he could.

"They trusted me to go out there and do it, so I guess it feels good. The only thing I take pride in is going out there and doing my best and trying not to get beat," Eldridge said prior to the first game of the season against BYU.

Kevin Wilson was honored to have Eldridge on his offense at any position. "Brody is really good," Wilson began. "He blocks those big guys we got and they will be as good as anybody we see."

"It's not close. He is our best lineman. Trent is the most talented, but he (Eldridge) is the most consistent guy. It's not motivation. It's not a mind game. He is our best player!"

It is a real shame that the two-time Captain will miss the final game of both his prep and college career, but he will certainly have an OU legacy, as many fans will remember his devastating blocks and his dedication to the OU program.

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