DeMarco Murray “blown away” by Sooners freshman Samaje Perine


TW: What did you notice about Perine when you recruited him?
Gundy: “He looked the same then as he does now. He weighed 242 pounds in high school. He was kind of man among boys whenever he played there. Very physical. Your initial look at him is he’s a big guy and awfully physical, but he’s got great feet. He’s got great quickness. He’s got good speed. He’s got great feet. He’s got great vision. He’s got good hands. He has a lot of things going for him with what he does being a running back.”
TW: Did you know his conditioning numbers would translate to game performance?
Gundy: “Well, I watched him through high school. I knew what type of football player he was in high school. He just doesn’t get here and all of a sudden become strong and you wonder, Is he gonna be a good football player? He was a good football player in high school. We wouldn’t have recruited him if he wasn’t a good football player. We wouldn’t have recruited him if he was the strongest kid in the state of Texas but wasn’t a good football player. He was a great football player in high school. That’s why he rushed for so many yards. That’s why almost all of the country wanted him. That’s why people offered him scholarships.”
TW: But to go from steamrolling high school safeties to college linebackers?
“When you’re 240 pounds and you’re 5-11 and you are that strong, that makes it a little easier for that to happen. But he is very mature and he does play like an older player. I understand what you’re saying.
“It’s funny, I was talking to DeMarco Murray yesterday. He was asking me about him. He said he watched the whole game. I said when he first got here, the first time he tested with Coach Schmitty, he lifted 275 22 times. DeMarco was just blown away. He said, ‘Shoot, that’s what I did in the combine.’
“I think the most important thing is how hard he works. Good things come to those who work hard. He’s a young man who’s all in. He’s wanting to do whatever he has to do to help his team. He’s started on two different special teams this year. We took him off one last week just to kind of rest him up a little bit. We took Alex (Ross) off one last week to rest him a little bit. As a matter of fact, we took Alex off two of them, except for kickoff returns. It’ll be nice to get Keith (Ford) back, because those three guys like being on special teams and starting and doing whatever they have to do to help the team win.”
TW: Does Perine remind you of Ron Dayne?
Gundy: “It’s been a while since I’ve seen him. I can remember him a little bit, but that was several years ago. I don’t know how tall Dayne was. I don’t know… He’s like a Jerome Bettis, you know? Because Jerome had great feet, too, for a big guy. I think what really stands out with Samaje, besides his size and strength, is his quickness and his speed and the feet he has. That makes him a little bit more of a special player for that size.”
TW: How did anyone tackle him in high school?
“Well, they struggled. Some of them got him down, some of them didn’t. But obviously, he has gotten stronger over the last year or so. He was strong when he got here, but he’s gotten stronger being in the weight room with Schmitty (strength coach Jerry Schmidt) and our guys. If you look back and watch some of those high school films, he abused people. There’s no doubt.” Read More