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Gundy rich in running backs

Jake Trotter Published: August 10, 2010

Cale Gundy might be the envy of every running backs coach in the Big 12. Maybe the country.

Not only does he have a preseason All-American as his featured runner in DeMarco Murray, Gundy has five other backs who seem worthy of carries in backup roles.

Including a pair of blue-chip freshmen in Roy Finch and Brennan Clay, who both figure to play in some capacity this season, along with Jermie Calhoun, Jonathan Miller and Mossis Madu.

You have to credit Gundy. He’s done an unbelievable job recruiting backs.

And not only backs who are talented. Backs who haven’t rocked the boat with prima donna attitudes.

Not once in four seasons covering the Sooners have I heard a back gripe about not getting the ball enough. Heard it from receivers. But not the backs.

I’m sure that’s not the case at every school, especially a place that’s been so rich in tailbacks over the years.

“When I go out and recruit the first thing that I tell all my recruits is that you come here to win championships,” Gundy said. “If you want to go somewhere and win individual awards, or be a 2,000-yard rusher you need to go somewhere else. It is all about the team and we are here to compete, and that is what is special about the guys that I have always had. They all get along well, and you guys have seen DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, or Allen Patrick and Adrian Peterson and everybody is as excited for everybody whenever they get out there to compete. Competition makes us all better and we definitely have some good young guys, and the depth that I have is pushing everybody there is no doubt.”

It’s too early to tell how the distribution of carries will shake out. Murray should handle about 75 percent of the load, provided he’s healthy.

As for the other 25 percent, Gundy has options. I’m not sure even he knows at this point how he’s going to divide the backup carries up. But one thing is for sure, the competition for carries should push all of the young backs to be better. And that reflects back to their position coach.

-JT

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