clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2014 Oklahoma Sooners Football Preview | Running Backs

New, 4 comments

With the Joe Mixon saga finally put to bed, Oklahoma fans can now narrow down the expectations as to who they will see carry the ball this fall.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Stoops will enter the 2014 football season with the least amount of experience he's ever had at the running back position since he took the helm of the Oklahoma football program. That's not to say there isn't talent there though...its just unproven. That said, Quentin Griffin, Adrian Peterson, and DeMarco Murray were all unproven when they took the field for the first time as well. Are there any of those type of players currently on the roster for Oklahoma right now? Time will ultimately tell the story but it'd better start spinning it real soon.

2014 Oklahoma Running Backs

#

Name

POS

HT

WT

YR

Home

34

Brooks, Daniel

RB

5-8

185

RSo.

Port Lavaca, Texas (Calhoun HS)

21

Ford, Keith

RB

5-11

206

So.

Cypress, Texas (Cypress Ranch HS)

32

Perine, Samaje

RB

5-11

243

Fr.

Pflugerville, Texas (Hendrickson HS)

28

Ross, Alex

RB

6-1

221

RSo.

Jenks, Okla. (Jenks HS)

25

Smith, David

RB

5-10

205

RSo.

Midlothian, Ill. (Bremen HS)

With five able bodied backs on the roster, the top three to look for are sophomores Keith Ford and Alex Ross, along with freshman Samaje Perine. Depending on who you talk with, it'll either be Ross and Ford or Ford and Ross getting the bulk of the carries this fall. One thing that is clear is that these two have separated themselves from the pack.

Ford is the team's leading returning rusher. He carried the ball 23 times for 134 yards (5.8 YPC) and a score in 2013 but holding on the football was a bit of an issue. The hope in 2014 is that he continues to run with power this fall but that he also takes the ball with him as he goes.

Alex Ross is actually older than Ford. A redshirt sophomore, Ross has been in the program for three years but has only carried the ball three times (19 yards) during that span. All three of those came in 2013 with one being in the opener and the other two coming against Iowa State.

Running multiple backs is nothing uncommon at Oklahoma so its safe to expect both guys to get a solid number of carries this fall. As to which one gets the bulk? Well, that's most likely going to depend on multiple factors each week.

The guy who came in under the radar this season is freshman Samaje Perine. A four-star recruit (per Rivals) from Pflugerville, Texas, Perine has impressed with his strength and power. It's not at all a far fetched expectation to see him on the field this fall as a true freshman.

2014 Oklahoma Fullbacks

#

Name

POS

HT

WT

YR

Home

36

Flowers, Dimitri

FB

6-1

244

Fr.

San Antonio, Texas (Churchill HS)

47

Palange, JoeClick here to hear it

FB

6-0

239

RSo.

Cleveland, Ohio (William & Mary)

48

Ripkowski, Aaron

FB

6-1

257

Sr.

Dayton, Texas (Dayton HS)

33

Uhles, Jaxon

FB

6-0

243

So.

Norman, Okla. (Pittsburg State)

Another true freshman you can expect to see on the field this fall is fullback Dimitri Flowers. The San Antonio native was on campus during the spring and ran with the first team offense in the Red/White game. He'll be used, much in the same way as Trey Millard, as a guy who is a solid blocker and a punisher with the ball in his hands.

Aaron Ripkowski will also continue his role as one of Oklahoma's unsung heroes. His ability to pass protect and create holes for the running backs makes him a key figure in the team's offensive success.