The Norman Transcript

August 14, 2013

Running backs are always in need

Depth can be fleeting when it comes to ball carriers

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — On paper, Oklahoma appears to have its deepest running group in coach Bob Stoops’ tenure. Senior running backs Damien Williams, Brennan Clay, Roy Finch and Trey Millard combined for 18 rushing touchdowns and 1,761 yards last season.

Redshirt freshman Alex Ross and true freshman Keith Ford both seem to be pushing for playing time, making for a very crowded backfield.

"It's a good group," Stoops said. "The deepest, I don't know about that."

Depth at the position can be fleeting. Think back to 2011. OU started preseason camp with Clay, Finch, Millard, walk-on turned starter Dominique Whaley and highly-touted recruits Jermie Calhoun, Jonathan Miller and Brandon Williams.

By the middle of the season, Whaley suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Clay was dealing with an assortment of ailments. Miller and Calhoun transferred before the season even started when Williams moved ahead of them on the depth chart. Then Williams transferred at the end of the regular season to be closer to home.

A fully stocked position group became extremely thin quickly. What happened that year left the impression that OU can never have toomany running backs.

"You never know where it will all go," Stoops said.