With only 24 days left in our countdown to kickoff, the focus of today’s article is Oklahoma Sooners running back Rodney Anderson.
The 6’2”, 218-pound redshirt sophomore from Katy, Texas was a consensus 4-star recruit coming out of high school in 2015. Sure, he knew he was stepping into a loaded backfield including the likes of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, but that never stopped him from making an impression on the coaching staff.
Then, in just the second game of the season, on a routine special teams tackle, Anderson suffered a leg injury that would bring his freshman season to an abrupt stop.
As the story goes, Perine and Mixon went on to form what was arguably the best tandem of running backs in the country, and were both set to return for the 2016 season.
So too, was Rodney Anderson. The injury slowed him down, yes, but it never stopped him from competing. After rehabbing his leg, he was finally ready to make the impact he intended to make the year prior.
Then, midway through fall camp, Rodney Anderson suffered yet another season ending injury, this time in the form of a fractured bone in his neck. The outlook appeared much more serious than his previous injury, not only to Anderson’s physical health, but also to his mental state as well.
For many people it would be normal to feel so dejected, so unfortunate. Hanging up the cleats and walking away would be perfectly understandable for somebody in Rodney Anderson’s position.
But that’s just not how number 24 operates.
Anderson spent yet another season rehabilitating his body, as well as his confidence. His hard work and dedication are now incredibly apparent with the eye test. He’s been touted as being pound-for-pound arguably the strongest and most athletic player on the team. His running style combines exceptional top-end speed with bruising power. If you’re looking for the next potential game changer at OU, Anderson is a player you won’t want to miss.
And so it goes without belaboring the fact that the last two years have certainly been a test of patience and intestinal fortitude for Rodney Anderson. In an interview with OU Athletics Communications, Anderson wisely expressed that "just because something bad happens doesn't mean you should stop working hard." Rodney Anderson is living proof of this, and after all he's been through, it should be no surprise that he isn't stopping any time soon.