Oklahoma football: 1,000-yard mark still in Brennan Clay's sights

by Jason Kersey Published: December 3, 2013

— Brennan Clay hopes to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark Saturday, when Oklahoma wraps up its regular season with Bedlam in Stillwater against Oklahoma State.

That would be quite the moment for Clay, a senior running back who has battled injuries, the depth chart and high expectations throughout his four-year career. Still, few things could happen Saturday that would top Clay's 2012 Bedlam moment, when he rushed for an 18-yard touchdown in overtime that sealed the Sooners' 51-48 victory on Owen Field.

“It's something everyone's gonna remember,” Clay said. “I'm just fortunate enough to be part of history. It's just one of those down-to-the-wire Bedlam games, and being part of that is something special.”

Clay was ranked as the nation's No. 2 running back in the recruiting class of 2009, and signed with OU out of San Diego's Scripps Ranch High.

But early in his true freshman season, he sustained a violent hit from a Florida State defender that sent him to the hospital with a concussion and forced him to sit out a month.

As a sophomore, Clay fought through a nagging neck injury and fell behind Dominique Whaley and Roy Finch on the depth chart.

He entered his junior season with the second-lowest yards-per-carry average in OU football history, with a career-long run of only 13 yards.

Not only that, Clay watched as his two best friends on the team — fellow Californians Tony Jefferson and Kenny Stills — became team stars and fan favorites.

For the first half of 2012, Clay appeared headed toward another lackluster season after junior-college transfer Damien Williams emerged as the Sooners' No. 1 running back. But with Williams hampered by an ankle injury in an early November game at Iowa State, Clay rushed for 157 yards on 24 carries.


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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