NORMAN — The last time we thought we saw something that really mattered at the Red-White Game we couldn’t have been more wrong.
John Blake instructed that great offensive mind Joe Dickinson to bring back the bone and for one spring Saturday, Brandon Daniels and the boys ran wild. Too bad it was a fraud, instituted by frauds, run against a fradulent defense.
The Bob Stoops era has produced boring spring game after boring spring game. None, however, have been terribly misleading. Should that trend remain intact, Oklahoma fans haven’t seen the last of Marshall Musil.
He’s a 6-2, 218-pound redshirt freshman from La Crosse, Kan., and couldn’t have been more anonymous prior to Saturday.
He carried the ball 29 times for 92 yards. When was the last time anybody carried the ball 29 times on the same day at Owen Field?
Just when you thought it was a clear case of abusing the unknown kid from Kansas, Musil broke a 47-yard run.
“I was waiting for that one,” Musil said. “I was hoping it would be closer to the goal line, because if it was going to be on the opposite 20, I knew somebody was going to catch me.”
Who caught him?
“I think it was Lamar Harris,” Musil said. “I got a good look. I got a stiffarm on him, so I could kind of see who it was.”
DeMarco Murray was held out of the spring game and Jermie Calhoun is nicked up and Mossis Madu played with the White team, leaving Musil for the Red, so maybe things had to fall into place for Musil to get his shot.
On the other hand, he wasn’t completely anonymous coming out of LaCrosse High. Rivals ranked him the No. 4 prospect in Kansas. SuperPrep ranked him No. 82 overall in the Midlands region. Of course, far more important than any of that, Musil has an advocate in Bob Stoops.
“Marshall’s a really good player. We’ve known that. Going against us on last year’s scout team, we’ve always liked the way he runs, the way he blocks,” Stoops said. “You know, he’s a bigger guy, he’s going to do a lot for us, in different ways.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said he’s still a tailback more than a fullback, and there may be moments Musil might replace Murray in the backfield, moving Murray to the flank. Still, Musil’s ticket to extended playing time may be in the Brody Eldridge, Matt Clapp mold, that of the blocking back.
It’s still a good story: anonymous Kansas kid shines in the spring game and may eventually earn serious time.
“I’m still trying to learn all the protections and plays and stuff,” Musil said. “That will come.”
Yet there may be more, because Wilson actually said something very interesting.
“He gives us depth at the running back if we need him,” he said. “In an ideal world, he learns how to be a guy who can block, and then you can start using him as more of a runner-pass (catcher) than we have in the past.”
Remember the last time OU had a fullback who actually ran the ball and caught passes. That was when Seth Littrell was their fullback.
Now the co-offensive coordinator for Mike Stoops at Arizona, the Muskogee product got the Sooners out of all kinds of jams during their run to the 2000 national championship.
Anyway, Musil’s got a big fan in Sooner defensive tackle Jamarcus McFarland.
“We call him Metamucil because he goes out there and gets it done,” he said.
Is there any higher praise?
For Marshall Musil, Saturday might only be the beginning.
Clay Horning 366-3526 email@example.com