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Oklahoma football: How does Cale Gundy find the right running backs? By trying to scare them away

by Jason Kersey Published: June 21, 2014

In 2013, the Sooners signed Keith Ford, the Cypress, Texas, standout who played some as a true freshman a year ago. OU added Jenks’ Alex Ross in 2012, and in 2010 signed Brennan Clay and Roy Finch, who each ended up being important contributors throughout their Sooner careers.

Two former Sooners — Peterson with the Vikings and the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray — are currently starting running backs in the NFL.

“I think one of the first things you look at is their history of running backs,” Anderson said when asked what he found appealing about Oklahoma. “They’ve had a great history of putting backs into the NFL. There’s really no denying that OU can build an all-purpose back that will be successful.”

But Josh McCuistion, who covers OU recruiting for the Rivals network site, said that while Peterson and Murray certainly help sway running backs toward the Sooners, Gundy deserves much of the credit, too.

“I think sometimes that steals a little credit from Gundy,” McCuistion said. “Sometimes people think it’s just that, and that’s not fair either.”

Anderson said Gundy’s personality resonates with him.

“I like the way he coaches, how technical he is and how he wants things done,” Anderson said. “I’m used to being coached real hard.”

Asked how Peterson reacted to his blunt, unorthodox recruiting pitch all those years ago, Gundy said he loved it.

“Everybody went to Adrian Peterson and put their arm around him and told him, ‘You’re gonna come here. We’re gonna win championships. You’re gonna win Heismans. You’re gonna start,’” Gundy said.

“That’s just not how we work at Oklahoma. Everybody is told the same thing: ‘The only thing you’re guaranteed at Oklahoma is an opportunity.’”

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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