By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Joseph Randle effectively ended his Oklahoma State career Thursday morning, telling Gina Mizell he’d made the decision to forgo his senior season for a shot at the NFL.
And what a prolific three-year run it has been. Underrated, if you ask me.
Randle was a key cog on two of the most prolific scoring offenses in school history, a versatile true freshman on another.
After learning under Kendall Hunter, Randle landed the starting job as a 19-year-old sophomore. And he was more than capable.
In the two years that followed, Randle put up 2,633 yards and 38 rushing touchdowns (3,085 and 40 for his career), showing incredible burst, vision, elusiveness and durability.
He was a workhorse to the highest degree, carrying the ball 482 times the past two seasons, fighting through nagging injuries and starting all 26 of OSU’s games.
In a list that’s tough to crack, here are the five best performances from his Cowboy career:
#5 - at Missouri
Date - October 22, 2011 (junior)
Stats – 14 carries for 138 yards and 3 TDs / 1 catch for 13 yards and 1 TD
Evaluation - An electric performance, complete with the necessary swag and confidence fitting for a four-score showing in the Storm Trooper All-Whites. OSU dominated Missouri on the road in the program’s last meeting as Big 12 foes. And he showed his versatility, lining up wide and catching a Brandon Weeden bullet slant better than most Cleveland Browns did this year.
(Catch at 2:20 / Big runs at 4:51 and 6:37)
#4 – vs. Arizona
Date – September 8, 2011 (sophomore)
Stats – 15 carries for 121 yards and 2 TDs / 9 catches for 99 yards
Evaluation - Welcome to the national spotlight, Joseph Randle. In the second game of his sophomore year, on a Thursday night ESPN national broadcast, he went off (almost going for 100+ yards rushing AND receiving). Right then, you could tell he’d be a star.
#3 – vs. Oklahoma
Date - December 3, 2011 (sophomore) and November 24, 2012 (junior)
Stats – 19 carries for 151 yards and 2 TDs / 21 carries for 113 yards and 4 TDs
Evaluation – I don’t mind bunching these together. And I know Cowboy fans won’t mind either. Randle killed the Sooners. Just ran all over them the past two seasons (264 yards and 6 TDs combined). And his performance in the 2011 Bedlam game (arguably the biggest win in school history) helped etch his name in OSU history. The Stoops brothers are celebrating more than anyone today.
#2 – vs. Baylor
Date – October 29, 2011 (sophomore)
Stats - 14 carries for 152 yards and 4 TDs
Evaluation - Even with Weeden and Blackmon, there were times when the elusive Randle could steal the show. This was one of those examples. The stats and highlight runs speak for themselves, but in the below video, also check out the pass blocking. It’s what makes him such a complete NFL prospect.
#1 – vs. Texas
Date - September 29, 2012 (junior)
Stats - 25 carries for 199 yards and 2 TDs
Evaluation - One of the tougher losses during his time in Stillwater, but you can’t fault Randle. He torched the Longhorns from his opening touch, pinballing 69 yards for an amazing touchdown, and completed the masterful performance with some bulldozing bursts, bruising the Longhorns’ spirits and bodies (check out the run at 5:10).