A pair of 1,000-yard rushers lead the charge out of the backfield for the Sooners.
NORMAN, Okla. --
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Bringing back one 1,000-yard rusher is nice. Bringing back two is almost unheard of, but that is precisely the situation at Oklahoma, one of only two schools in the nation who can claim the feat and the only program with each 1,000-yard rusher positioned at running back.
DeMarco Murray spent most of the season as the team's top rusher, but was injured on the opening kickoff of the Big 12 Championship game and did not play again. He finished with 1,002 rushing yards, but was eclipsed over those final two games by Chris Brown, who ended the season at 1,220 yards.
"It's valuable having two guys with a lot of snaps under their belt and who have been in the fire and come out on the other side," said OU running backs coach Cale Gundy.
"This team means a lot to those two guys. The Oklahoma Sooners mean a lot to them. If I had to go to war with anyone, I would want those two in my cubby hole."
The return of those two alone would be enough to keep most coaching staffs happy, but Oklahoma also returns its No. 3 rusher from a year ago in Mossis Madu, who piled up 475 yards and six touchdowns. While Madu shifted out to receiver over the spring and fall camps, the versatile hometown product can easily be counted on to shift to the backfield if need be.
"Mossis is a fulltime receiver now, but there will still be opportunities to get him in the backfield. The main thing is to find ways to get touches for Mossis," added Gundy.
The group will be joined by redshirt freshman Jermie Calhoun and true freshman Jonathan Miller.
The fullback position is strong with Matt Clapp and Brody Eldridge, both of whom have been All-Big 12. Marshall Musil, a player similar in style and stature, is a true freshman with promise.