Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Sooners Football | Steve Sewell May Have Been OU’s Most Underrated RB

M. Hofeld


Steve Sewell had all the tools that make a great running back. At 6-3/210 he had the size that made him a power back. He also had great hands out of the backfield and possessed blazing speed. He was the perfect “too fast for linebackers and too big for defensive backs” addition to Barry Switzer’s Flexbone offense.

Over the course of his 47 games played at Oklahoma, Sewell averaged 6.3 yards-per-carry on his way to 1178 yards and 10 touchdowns on 187 carries. He also added 560 yards and another 4 touchdowns on 33 receptions (17 YPC). The thing is, Sewell was on the field at the same time as Sooner greats Marcus Dupree and Spencer Tillman which often left him overlooked and underused in a stacked Oklahoma backfield.

Perhaps Sewell’s greatest moment as a Sooner came in the 1984 Kansas State game when he posted 295 all-purpose yards in a 24-6 Oklahoma victory. He ran for 153 yards against the Wildcats and recorded another 142 receiving yards in a performance that still ranks as the ninth most single game all-purpose yards in Oklahoma Football history.

After the completion of his career at OU, Sewell was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 26th pick of the first round in the 1985 NFL draft. He spent his entire NFL career with the Broncos, playing in three Super Bowls, averaging 4.0 yards per carry and 12.6 yards per reception through seven seasons.

When mentioning the running back legends to have played on Owen Field, you’ll be hard pressed to find Sewell mentioned in the conversation. That said, when comparing his averages to Spencer Tillman (5.3 yards per rush/4.0 yards per reception) and Marcus Dupree (7.2 yards per rush/7 yards per reception) you can see just how underrated he was in Oklahoma’s backfield.

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