There has been no formal announcement made but you don’t have to look too hard between the lines to see that Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson has closed out his collegiate career. The Katy, Texas native fought back not once, but two times, from season-ending injuries to produce one of the greatest two-month spans for an OU running back. Now that he’s recovering from a third injury, that cut short a season, fans need to cheer him on…to the NFL.
It’s one thing to sacrifice for a university and football program that you love, which Anderson clearly has done, but it’s a completely different thing to sacrifice your future when the program is in capable hands. That’s exactly what Anderson would be doing if he came back for one more season.
After overcoming a broken fibula and ligament tear in his left ankle (2015) and a a fractured vertebrae (2016), Anderson worked his way into becoming Oklahoma’s feature back last season. In the final eight weeks of the season he ran for 1,079 yards and then followed that up with a 201 yard/2 touchdown performance against Georgia in the Rose Bowl.
NFL scouts and executives have already seen enough of Anderson to know that he can play, and play well, at the pro level. Another year of college ball can only damage that because he’s clearly playing with fire as far as the injury bug is concerned.
Now that he’s facing a third recovery period, from a third season-ending injury, it makes no sense to risk a potentially bright NFL future for a team that has a deep stable of running backs…especially when the next injury could be career-ending and not just season-ending.
On Monday the Tulsa World reported that is Anderson is not currently with the team, and not even in the state of Oklahoma anymore.
“Rodney’s dad is in the medical field,” Riley reported. “With this particular injury, (the Anderson family) had a doctor and a rehab center that they wanted to use. They chose to do that.” – Tulsa World
Anderson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in May of this year and that’s what kids ultimately go to college to do. Now he needs to take another step for his future and enter the NFL Draft. He’ll be a steal for some lucky franchise and, just like the backs before him, he’ll continue to make Oklahoma fans proud.