According to a report from The Athletic’s Jason Kersey, Oklahoma Sooners redshirt junior running back Kennedy Brooks will opt out of the 2020 football season.
Known for his exceptional patience and vision with the ball in his hands, Brooks has rushed for 1,056 and 1,011 yards in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, respectively. With Trey Sermon transferring to Ohio State this offseason, he was obviously expected to be the primary bell cow behind an experienced and talented OU offensive line in 2020. The fact that Rhamondre Stevenson is slated to miss the first five games of the season with a suspension (which could still theoretically be reduced or overturned) further complicates matters.
Where do the Sooners go from here? Well, it’s clear that OU will likely be highly dependent of junior T.J. Pledger and redshirt freshman Marcus Major. With Major being the bigger back (5’11 and 224 as opposed to Pledger at 5’9” and 193), look for the Millwood product to potentially assume the role of lead back until Stevenson returns to the fold.
Additionally, true freshman Seth McGowan has the physical tools to contribute right off the bat, and Brian Darby (who has been getting some work at RB) could factor into the rotation, as well.
At any rate, losing a dependable force of Brooks’ mold is a major blow to this position, as his instincts as a runner really set him apart from the rest of the group. One can, however, be optimistic about the running back position entering 2020 when taking a look at the upside of some of the younger weapons.
Lincoln Riley was asked on Saturday about players possibly opting out the upcoming season:— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) August 16, 2020
"Everybody’s got to look at this individually and make the decision that’s best for them. And our deal is we’re going to be supportive of that decision."#Sooners https://t.co/lNPq8YsHit