The Oklahoma Sooners capped off the season with a win over the Auburn Tigers in the 2017 Sugar Bowl. Leading up to the event, many speculated the bowl appearance would be the last outing for runningback Samaje Perine while wearing the crimson and cream. Quickly speculation turned to reality as the humble star made known his intentions to delcare for the 2017 NFL Draft.
— Samaje Perine (@Samaj32) January 3, 2017
Entering the game, Perine remained just shy of OU’s All-Time Leading Rusher mark set by none other than Heisman Winner Billy Sims. Slowly inching toward the No. 1 spot, fellow teammate Baker Mayfield was keeping tabs on the effort. Describing the situation, Mayfield said after the game, “Right before that last drive, I had talked to Tyler on the sideline and asked him to give me an update on the yardage mark, because I knew [Perine] had to be somewhere close. And he was 30 yards away. And I told the offensive line. And they kind of geared up. And they said we still have to finish it out the right way, but it’s just extra motivation for you.
So the record means a lot. So when you drive down the field and kind of doing the math in my head. And he finally made that last long run, and it was just enough. And I went and hugged him.”
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) January 3, 2017
During his three-year career at Oklahoma, Perine amassed a school record 4,122 rushing yards along side an impressive 49 career touchdown mark. En route to those numbers, the runningback set a single game NCAA rushing record with 427 yards on the day. Needless to say, fans like myself owe Perine a thanks for the memories.
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— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) January 3, 2017