It is no secret that the Oklahoma Sooners are looking to add depth in the running back room due to recent misses during the recruiting cycle as well as attrition from the end of the season. Eyeing several prospects, the program turned to the transfer portal as names such as Tre Bradford and Kyle Edwards made themselves available. However, much of the focus remains on the former when it comes to the future at the position and OU — at least in the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Assuming the two parties make it official, here’s what Sooner Nation gets in a player like Bradford:
Although Bradford comes in at 6’0 and 190-pounds, he has plenty of room to add to the lean athletic frame. Expected to play in the 210 range before his collegiate career is over, the running back possesses an ideal skill set for Lincoln Riley’s offense. Hitting the gaps with purpose, the freshman proved capable of bursting forward through the line evidenced by a 5.8 yards per carry average as a true freshman. Granted it’s on limited experience. Additionally, Bradford showcased the ability to cutback through the line as well with exceptional stop-start explosiveness and speed.
The one thing that really sets Bradford apart for the Sooner offense is the ability to stretch the field from left to right. It’s something the current offense has used other positions to cover such as the H-Back spot. Giving Oklahoma a versatile threat out of the backfield puts a premium on a player like the transfer from LSU.
Still there are some limitations to the game Bradford brings to the table. Knowing the Sooners like to utilize the backs in the passing game, the freshman has limited experience in pass catching. That’s something that dates back to the high school days for Bradford. Dating back to his senior year, the transfer has recorded only 15 catches. It’s an area for improvement for sure. But given the long strides and track type speed, there will be opportunity in the stretch game if not as the release valve in a pressure packed moment for the quarterback.
Regardless, the pairing between Bradford and Oklahoma is easy to visualize. Yet, this is not an immediate need for the Sooners on the field. Again, if the two parties make it official it’s because Riley is looking for future options. Right now, Eric Gray and Kennedy Brooks are the headliners in the backfield and could declare for the NFL Draft at the end of the 2021 season. Looking ahead, Marcus Major and Bradford could be great compliments to one another if things go according to the transfer predictions from 247Sports.