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2008 Season Preview: Running Backs

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DeMarco Murray takes over as Oklahoma's feature back in 2008

Who would have though that two years after Adrian Peterson left Norman that the Sooners would actually be stronger at the running back position than when #28 was running through and around opponents. Oklahoma’s depth at running back is incredible and the headache for offensive coaches finding out how to get them all on the field at some point.

 

DeMarco Murray highlights the talented stable of backs and has OU fans salivating to see what he can do as the feature back in 2008. Murray tied Adrian Peterson’s freshman touchdown record last year with 15 and undoubtedly would have broken it had it not been for a season ending knee injury at Texas Tech.

 

Behind Murray is Chris Brown who is quickly earning the reputation as a short-yardage specialist. Not afraid to go for the tough yards Brown rushed 17 times in 2007 when OU needed three yards or less. The result of those 17 carries was 14 first downs and 2 touchdowns.

 

From this point on it gets really tricky because there is a log-jam of talent waiting to get on the field. Sophomore Mossis Madu has an advantage over the remaining backs because of his on field experience. Madu logged two rushing touchdowns in 2007. Freshman Justin Johnson was on campus during the spring and earned valuable reps as well as experience. Then there is prized recruit Jermie Calhoun who some have described as a three-year player much like Peterson was.

 

All five of these guys will most likely make their way on the field at some point this season with the coaches narrowing down the number of backs who get playing time by before conference play begins.