Samaje Perine: Why an Alabama Fan Chose the Sooners

Cale Gundy helped recruit Samaje Perine

Oct 1, 2011; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Ryan Browyles (84) talks to Sooners assistant coach Cale Gundy during warm-ups before the game against the Ball State Cardinals at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When Samaje Perine chose the Oklahoma Sooners over the Alabama Crimson Tide, it was as shocking to Alabama as it was joyful for the Oklahoma Sooners. The Crimson Tide have won back-to-back national titles and three of the last four championships. Plus, Perine is from Alabama and is a long-time Crimson Tide fan, remaining a fan even when his family moved him to Texas.

However, when it came time to choose either his favorite collegiate team or the Oklahoma Sooners to play college football for, he went with the Sooners.

For Oklahoma, that means getting a young superstar talent who ran for 1,993 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior at Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson High School. Alabama offered him a scholarship to play for them, but he decided that Oklahoma was a better fit.

“Alabama is a great school, but they just have so many back right now and they’re going to have a lot of great backs when I graduate,” Perine told “There wasn’t a need for me there.”

Sure, it might be nice to play for a team that has been one of the best over the last four seasons, but Oklahoma isn’t a huge step down. In the last three seasons, Oklahoma has compiled a record of 32-8, and despite fans of opposing teams making fun of the Sooners postseason record, OU is 3-1 in bowl games over the last four seasons.

But, that isn’t what brought Samaje Perine to Norman, OK. He came to the Sooners because – when he arrives – Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch will all have just graduated. No other Oklahoma Sooners running back has any game experience, and honestly, Perine will have a great chance to start as a freshman.

Alabama’s loss is the Sooners’ gain. The Crimson Tide have a lot of young superstar players, so they won’t suffer, but the addition of Perine to the Sooners’ backfield might lessen the gap between the two schools somewhat.

Topics: Alabama Crimson Tide, Oklahoma Sooners, Samaje Perine

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