DeMarco Murray Wants Adrian Peterson’s Old Job

One of the biggest questions in the Big 12 this year is who will replace Adrian Peterson as Oklahoma’s starting running back? If the spring is any indication, Sooner fans can rest easy, knowing an abundance of talent appears ready to run in Norman. For starters, Allen Patrick and Chris Brown both return after stepping up in Peterson’s absence and propelling the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship. In addition, a new star has emerged in Oklahoma’s spring scrimmages in redshirt freshman DeMarco Murray.In Saturday’s scrimmage Murray carried the ball 16 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. His 65-yard run was also the longest play of the day for the Sooners. Despite these efforts, Head coach Bob Stoops remains understated.

“DeMarco’s a special player,” Stoops said.

Murray was also the most impressive back in Oklahoma’s first scrimmage of the spring on March 14. In that scrimmage he carried the ball 9 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 37 yards.

The emergence of Murray, gives the Sooners all sorts of options in the backfield. Patrick and Brown both look durable enough to be every down backs. It is doubtful, however, that Patrick will average anywhere near the 30 carries a game that he did in the second half of 2006. Instead, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson should be able to spread the ball around amongst Patrick, Brown, Murray and Mossis Madu another talented redshirt freshman. You can probably expect to Murray and Madu to line up in the slot and perhaps split time as the feature back when the Sooners operate from the shotgun.

However they decide to use the four backs, I think this qualifies as one of those “good problems to have.”