February 23, 2007

Spring Preview: Murray to emerge?

Spring practices are less than a month away and we're taking a look at the major battles ahead in the months to come. Quarterback, linebacker, defensive end and offensive tackle will be the headline attractions.

But there are several positions looking to replace departing starters. SoonerScoop.com Editor Carey Murdock takes a look at our second position of interest this spring, running back.

Outgoing Player: Adrian Peterson - RB
2006 Season Stats: 188 carries for 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns. 10 receptions for 136 yards and one touchdown.

Most difficult quality to replace: Presence - The qualities Peterson brought to the table are hard to quantify. But his presence meant to much to Oklahoma's offense on and off the field.

Sure the Sooners were effective without Adrian Peterson while he suffered a broken collarbone. But opposing coaches had to plan their entire defense around Peterson when he was a part of the team. Can the same be said for Allen Patrick or the other Sooner running backs? Not yet.

Peterson was also a leader during the offseason as he was one of the hardest workers on the team. And who can say what it meant to have one of the most famous faces in sports who was also the hardest worker in the program? That meant a lot to a program looking to turn around the entire attitude of the program in 2006.

Peterson also brought great exposure to the Oklahoma program. The majority of Oklahoma's 2007 signing class recently cited Peterson as the reason they started following Oklahoma football in the first place. His presence meant so much to the Oklahoma program. It's something that may never be completely replaced.

The Candidates: Allen Patrick, Jacob Gutierrez, Chris Brown, Demarco Murray and Mossis Madu

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