Can OU resurface as Running Back U?

I am not trying to push the panic button. Not yet anyway.

But the question has to be asked. Has OU lost its reputation as being a football program for runningbacks? I ask the question because who would have thought, for the second year in a row, the Sooners would have question marks running the football.

The subject came up on my radio show with former OSU coach Pat Jones and former OU runningback Marcus DuPree.

I am not the only person questioning whether or not OU has become so pass-happy that the top tailbacks in the country pass up the chance to go to OU and find other schools to tote the pigskin.

Dupree has been wondering out loud what has happened to OU's running game. Coach Jones wonders if the blame can be placed on the staff's evaluations.

Demarco Murray was good, no question.

But he was also injured a lot. And whether OU fans want to admit it, after he left, the backfield has gotten a little dicey.

Would anybody have guessed at the start of last year that a walk-on would turn out to be the best of the OU stable of backs?

And it is a good thing Dominique Whaley showed up when he did, or who knows what the OU running game would have been like.

Two backs quit, two others were hurt and Roy Finch is probably not an every play back. 

So it was basically up to Whaley to carry the load, and he paid the price with a badly broken ankle late in the season. He may not even be 100 percent by this season.

Still trying to figure out if fullback Trey Millard is going to get more than a few handoffs a game. We kept hearing that he was, only to find out his workload was diminished come Saturday.

This so-called running back drought could carry over into 2012. Tell me, who takes the football this spring? There are just two running backs for spring practice, unless another Whaley-like walk-on emerges. 

Will Jenks product Alex Ross step up as a freshman when he gets to Norman in August? Will another Whaley step up to the plate this fall? Viable questions.

Just wondering.

Has OU gone so pass-happy that a once dominant running game is going to take a back seat? Have the Sooners lost the magic in recruiting that ball-carrying stud? Are young high school players not looking at OU as a runningback school as they once did?

Are the days of Steve Owens, Billy Sims, Joe Washington, Adrian Peterson over? Right now OU fans would take Mike Gaddis.

Like I said, just wondering.


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