May 9, 2006

Spring Grades: RBs

A lot of expectations were heaped upon Oklahoma running backs Adrian Peterson and Allen Patrick heading into spring practices. But with Peterson wearing a blue jersey during meaningful contact and Patrick being run ragged as the only other running back during spring drills, the spring was a mixed result for both players.

The one benefit the Sooners did receive from spring practices was the experience gained by both players. Peterson had barely participated in any sooner training camp since arriving to campus. Patrick made the switch to running after the start of the 2005 season and had few opportunities to dive in head first to the offensive side of the ball.


Peterson certainly made progress in pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield. But being off-limits to defenders didn't answer any questions about his durability heading into the 2006 season. Peterson missed considerable time last season and suffered through shoulder problems as a freshman.

Bob Stoops won't question Peterson's durability, but you can be certain NFL scouts will start to wonder about A.D.'s longevity at the next level if he can't spend more of his junior season on the field.

Patrick spent most of the spring on the verge of being over-used. With Jacob Gutierrez still recovering from offseason knee surgery, Patrick took almost all the live snaps during scrimmage situations.

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