NORMAN — What Oklahoma lacked in numbers this recruiting class, the Sooners made up for in star power.
And no star's potential shines brighter than 5-star running back Brandon Williams.
Signing Day was anticlimactic for Williams, who's been enrolled at OU for weeks now working out with the team and preparing for spring drills.
But during coach Bob Stoops' Signing Day news conference Wednesday, Williams' name came up often, and Stoops tossed out names like DeMarco Murray and Adrian Peterson while trying to describe his new running back.
“Brandon is much bigger than Roy (Finch) — Brandon is more in the style of, I'd say, DeMarco and Adrian or somewhere in between the two,” Stoops said. “He's a guy that's all of 6-1 and probably 205-210 pounds, has got incredible speed. And he's a physical type guy in the way he likes to run.”
Like thunder and lightning rolled into one back.
The No. 3 high school running back in the country according to both Rivals and Scout, Williams had a phenomenal senior season at Brookshire (Texas) Royal.
While averaging 9.8 yards per carry, Williams rushed for 2,438 yards and 33 touchdowns, leading Royal's deep charge into the Class 3A playoffs. Williams was also selected to the Under Amour All-American Game.
Rivals says Williams is built in the mold of Darren McFadden. Wednesday, the website also picked Williams as one its “five instant impact recruits” in the nation.
“His size and speed combination clearly is at another level,” wrote Rivals recruiting analyst Barry Every. “He displayed superior acceleration getting to the corner and the vision to slice through the middle of the defense while at the Under Armour All-American Game. ... I don't expect him to be the starter right away, but he should gradually work his way onto the field once he shows off his big-play ability in an actual game.”
Finch is the presumptive favorite to replace Murray at starting running back. But with Finch still recovering from a stress fracture injury, Williams will have ample opportunity to make a splash during spring practice. He'll still have to contend with other backs like Jonathan Miller, Brennan Clay and Jermie Calhoun. But don't be surprised if Williams makes a push to become OU's No. 2 running back behind Finch before the start of next season.
“Brandon is really special,” Stoops said. “Just watch the speed. You have a guy this kind of size, 205 pounds, 6-1 or 6-2, has excellent speed to get to the corner … explosive.
“A guy that has made a ton of big plays, and he's got that home run ability with the speed.”