Samaje Perine came to Norman in 2014 after spurning offers from Nick Saban and the like. He was a four-star back out of Hendrickson HS in Pflugerville, Texas who was considered the second-best back in OU’s class behind the ballyhooed Joe Mixon. After Mixon’s suspension and Keith Ford’s injury issues, Perine was thrust into the spotlight and did not disappoint.
Perine didn’t take his foot off the gas for the rest of his freshman season, as he raced to 1713 yards and 21 touchdowns. The season happened include a 427-yard outing against Kansas, the greatest rushing performance in FBS history.
Inexperienced offensive line play resulted in a slow start to the 2015 season for Perine, but he eventually regained his freshman form. After struggling with some ankle issues late in last season’s campaign, he should be ready for a huge season behind a more seasoned front five. He currently sits at 3,062 yards for his career, which is 10th all time at OU and just 1,056 away from Billy Sims’ school record. With a healthy season, Samaje is all but a lock to be OU’s rushing king.