If the Sooners are going to win an unprecedented sixth-consecutive Big 12 championship then they’re going to have to do so without Kennedy Brooks. According to The Athletic’s Jason Kersey, Brooks is going to opt out for 2020 after coming off back-to-back thousand yard seasons.
Is this a bad time to remind you that Rhamondre Stevenson is facing a possible four-game suspension? Yup, that certainly complicates things doesn’t it. Assuming the Stevenson suspension holds, that leaves junior T.J. Pledger as Oklahoma’s leading returning rusher heading into the 20202 season.
With 244 yards on 40 carries (6.1 YPC) Pledger may seem to be the logical choice to step into the spotlight, based off experience. He was #3 on the Sooner depth chart to going into last season’s Big 12 Championship Game and logged two carries in the Peach Bowl with Stevenson being absent.
Redshirt freshman Marcus Major is definitely a guy you’ll want to keep an eye on though. Even before Brooks announced his intentions to sit the season I had expected Major to have a serious breakthrough season. The former 4-star prospect from Millwood High School (OKC) has added 24 pounds to his 5-11 frame and seems to be poised to take the helm as the next star running back to wear the crimson and cream.
The person who stands the most to gain by Brooks’ absence is true freshman Seth McGowan. He’s already got the frame (5-11/211) to play for an elite program and looked like a man among boys at times during his high school career. He’s he’s up to speed with the offensive schemes and assignments by the time Oklahoma hosts Kansas State on September 26th then a key role in the offense could be hist to take in 2020.
Now, let’s come back full circle to Rhamondre Stevenson. He’s actually got the second most to gain through this situation. There’s still the hope for a miracle that would erase any further suspension beyond what he already served through the Peach Bowl. If that prayer isn’t answered then he could be back on the field when the Sooners head to Fort Worth to play TCU at the latest. At 6-0/246 he’s not only Oklahoma’s most experienced back but with 515 yards, at 8.04 yards per carry, in 2019 he could be the Sooner Savior when he returns. That is assuming the remainder of the backs in the stable develop quickly enough to hold down the fort until his return.
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