Summary: Oklahoma Sooners have a long history of producing top-notch running backs in college football. This article aims to explore the current state of the OU running backs, their strengths and weaknesses in different areas, and their future prospects.
1. The Current Running Backs
The Oklahoma Sooners’ current running back squad boasts of four talented players: Kennedy Brooks, T.J. Pledger, Marcus Major, and Seth McGowan.
Kennedy Brooks is the most experienced of all the running backs, having played for the Sooners for three seasons. He has amassed over 2,000 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in this period. T. J. Pledger is another vital component in the running back roster, with an athletic build and an impressive track record from his high school years. Marcus Major and Seth McGowan are both freshmen but have displayed potential in their first games for the Sooners.
Each player brings a unique set of talents, with Brooks running with power and elusiveness, Pledger showcasing agility and quickness, and Major and McGowan boasting both strength and speed.
2. Strengths of OU Running Backs
The OU running backs come with several attributes that make them stand out. Firstly, they possess exceptional speed that enables them to outrun the defenders effortlessly. Secondly, they are agile and coordinated, allowing them to move swiftly through small gaps and evade defenders’ tackles.
Thirdly, the running backs can read the defense well and adapt their playing style accordingly. They can spot open spaces, identify mismatches, and adjust their acceleration and movement patterns to exploit the defense’s weaknesses. Fourthly, the OU running backs are skilled at catching passes, making them valuable as a passing option in addition to their rushing abilities.
Finally, the running backs excel at breakaway runs. Under favorable conditions, they can make quick burstings cuts and gallop through the defenses, covering significant yardages in a single play.
3. Weaknesses of OU Running Backs
Despite their strengths, the OU running backs have some areas that they need to improve on. The most glaring weakness is ball security. Several turnovers have been linked to fumbles or lack of proper ball handling from the Oklahoma running backs.
Another area of weakness is pass protection. They struggle to pick blitzing linebackers, resulting in sacks or incompletions of passes. In addition, they have shown inconsistent downhill running, at times struggling to break tackles or drive through the defensive line for tough yards.
Lastly, the running backs’ ability to make correct angle cuts and set up blocks could be refined. A little more patience and better vision could take their performance to another level and help them avoid the occasional tackles in the backfield.
4. Future Prospects of OU Running Backs
The future looks bright for the OU running backs considering the current crop of young talents. Kennedy Brooks still has a year remaining, meaning he will lead the pack in his senior year before possibly heading to the NFL.
T.J. Pledger, Marcus Major, and Seth McGowan are set to improve their skills and compete to fill in the leadership gap when Brooks departs. With time, they will iron out their weaknesses and become more complete running backs.
The coaching staff has a good track record of developing players, and all four running backs are promising talents who they can help shape into valuable assets. Add in future recruiting classes, and Oklahoma’s running game looks set to remain a strength of the team for years to come.
The Oklahoma Sooners have a rich history of producing quality running backs, and the current roster more than lives up to the university’s standards. The strengths and weaknesses of the OU running backs make for fascinating study, especially given their potential for improvement under the stewardship of the coaching staff. With Kennedy Brooks leading the way in his final year as a Sooner, the future of the Oklahoma running game looks bright for years to come.