NORMAN — 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.
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