Oklahoma football: Five bold predictions for 2017

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17: Mark Andrews
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17: Mark Andrews /
6 of 6
NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Baker Mayfield
NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Baker Mayfield /

RB Rodney Anderson will make it through a full season without serious injury, and Sooner fans will like what they see

Redshirt sophomore Rodney Anderson has been a hidden weapon for the Sooners the last two seasons. He’s been so hidden that he hasn’t even been in uniform for most of the past two years.

Anderson was a four-star running back prospect and a member of Oklahoma’s 2015 recruiting class. Even though the Sooners were well-stocked at the running back position when Anderson arrived in Norman, the plans were to work him into the rotation as a freshman.

That never happened, though, because Anderson suffered a broken leg in the third game of the season at Tennessee and was ruled out for the season. In his comeback attempt in 2015, he didn’t even make it through the preseason, suffering a season-ending  fracture to his C5 vertebrae.

So in two seasons at Oklahoma, he has one official carry for a gain of five yards.

“Every quality for a running back or just a great football player, he (Anderson) checks a lot of the boxes,” head coach Lincoln Riley told ESPN’s Jake Trotter in an interview this past spring when Riley was still the offensive coordinator.

“He’s at or near the top in everything,” Riley said. “He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s smart.” And he could be the biggest surprise in the Big 12 this coming season. A surprise to everyone, that is, but the Sooners, who are well aware of what Anderson brings and what he is capable of.

The even better news is that Anderson will not have to carry the running back load all by himself. One of the Sooner newcomers for 2017 is Marcelias Sutton, one of the country’s top running backs at the junior-college level the past two seasons. Also returning is sophomore RB Abdul Adams, who moved into the No. 3 slot on the depth chart last season following Anderson’s injury.