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Running Back Full of Variables

3 min read
Running Back Full of Variables

While quarterback is a situation that the Sooners have near-cemented for the next two classes and defensive line is one where the hierarchy seems clear, at running back – questions abound. It’s not to say that Demarco Murray isn’t involved with numerous elite options – he clearly is.

However, the questions that exist revolve around not only Oklahoma’s chances with some of those top targets but even clarity on who they all are.

Is There a Top of the List?

The two names that most believe are at the top of the list are a pair of Texans – Longview’s Taylor Tatum and Duncanville’s Caden Durham.

Durham is a home run hitter that can bring Lebby’s ‘score from far’ moniker to life in the run game. The Duncanville, Texas product has considerable connection to Oklahoma thanks in part to growing up in the Oklahoma City area and having strong relationships with fellow Sooners recruits Mykel Patterson-McDonald and David Stone.

Tatum picked up an Oklahoma offer after camping in Norman last summer and has returned a handful of times since then. He’s a tremendously talented back who fits well in Jeff Lebby‘s scheme not only as a physical runner but as a very skilled receiver out of the backfield.

4-star RB Caden Durham. (Billy Embody – On3)

Tatum feels like a truly open race with a lot of possible contenders meanwhile Durham has the feel of a two-horse race between Oklahoma and LSU – where he also knows multiple high-end recruits the Tigers seem to be in strong standing for.

Some are of the belief that the Sooners could take as many as three backs in the class and if there was a third, one can’t help but wonder about local star Xavier Robinson of Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert. Robinson is a big and powerful back that had a rise from relative recruiting obscurity to the state’s player of the year during the course of the season.

More Key Targets at Running Back

Oklahoma’s running back room is far from a completed question even with the aforementioned three prospects and while we are looking at Oklahoma natives, how about a transplant? Current Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas standout and Sooner state native Stacy Gage grew up in Southeast Oklahoma and has a clear affinity for the Sooners. A focus of that affection comes from his relationship with Murray. Oklahoma will have plenty of chances with Gage but it will be interesting to see where he falls in their plans.

Two more backs that Murray made a big early impression on are Tovani Mizell and Jeremy Payne. Mizell and Payne both visited Oklahoma this spring. Similarly, both gave rave reviews about their time on campus with both, at various points, being predicted for the Sooners. Oklahoma still remains a possibility for both and has done plenty to impress them to date.

So far no decision has come in the running back room but Murray has done plenty to put the Sooners in good standing with some elite targets.

The post Running Back Full of Variables appeared first on On3.

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