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Berry Tramel: The numbers say DeMarco Murray ranks among OU's elite running backs

by Berry Tramel Modified: August 23, 2010 at 9:36 am •  Published: August 22, 2010

NORMAN — Player A came to campus ballyhooed, sat out his freshman year, fought through injuries and entered his fifth Sooner season with 2,471 career rushing yards.

Player B came to campus ballyhooed, fought through injuries, received an extra year of eligibility and entered his fifth Sooner season with 2,448 career rushing yards.

One of those players is Billy Sims. The other is DeMarco Murray.

That's right, the biographical and statistical similarities are striking between Sims, Player B and the best offensive player in OU football history, and Murray, Player A and the Sooners' senior tailback.

Though Murray has had what many would call a disappointing career — missing games with bizarre injuries and sharing time with Allen Patrick and Chris Brown — he's got more career yards after four years than did Sims, even though Sims won a Heisman Trophy in his fourth season.

Now as a senior, with a mandate from Bob Stoops to get the ball more than ever, Murray has a chance, barring another goofy injury, to zoom up the OU career chart.

* Needs just 933 yards to become the No. 6 all-time OU rusher.

* Needs 1,529 yards to join Sims, Joe Washington, Adrian Peterson and Steve Owens in the Sooners' 4,000-yard club.

* Needs 1,648 to break Sims' career record of 4,118 yards.

"Anything is possible," Murray said. "But I'm not looking forward to breaking anyone's record. I'm just trying to stay healthy."

That's been the hard part. A serious turf toe plagued Murray in 2006, so he redshirted. In 2007, Murray suffered a dislocated kneecap during an onside kick against Texas Tech. In 2008, it was a torn hamstring on the opening kickoff in the Big 12 title game.

In all, Murray has missed six games the past three years.

"I have no control whether I play one game or two or 10 or 12," Murray said. "Whenever I'm out there, I'm going to play as hard as I can.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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