After opting out of the 2020 college football season, running back Kennedy Brooks is back with the team and ready for a resurgent 2021 season.
Brooks said the decision to miss last season was a tough one, but after talking with his family it was the right choice to make.
“We chose to just, (thought it was) best just to sit out for my health because we didn’t really know anything about COVID,” Brooks said. “All the uncertainties … we felt that it was best for me to just sit out and just be safe.”
While away from the team, Brooks said he approached the year off like an NFL offseason, continuing to work out and stay prepared for his return to the field.
“I trained every day. I watched film. I watched every game, went back and stayed on top of everything, worked on everything I needed to work on,” he said. “I took this as a business decision and just did the best I can to come back and be prepared.”
Twice a 1,000-yard rusher, Brooks returns to an OU running back room that is almost foreign.
New faces in Seth McGowan, Eric Gray and Mikey Henderson greet him, as well as a different running back coach in DeMarco Murray since he last was a part of the team.
“I think it was a good adjustment. Man, we’ve got so many talented guys,” Brooks said. “We just reloaded honestly. I mean so many great backs.
“We got Eric from Tennessee and he’s a dog. And then we got Mikey coming in that’s from the H-back (room), man he’s doing good. I mean we just reloaded and we got so many weapons its just all making us better, just complete and just getting better every day.”
Last year, Brooks said it was hard at times watching the team because he just wanted to be back out on the field, but he was rooting for his teammates, especially his fellow running backs.
“For me, it was just more of I wanted them to do great,” Brooks said. “I want all my boys, all my teammates to be successful. And that’s what I was hoping for them to do and that’s what they did.
“It was more for me being anxious about being back out there. Just like, man, I want to play, I want to go out there and just play right now. That was more of the what was hard for me just being able to sit down and just watch.”
Refreshed after a year without football, Brooks is ready to hit the field and continue to put up huge numbers for the Sooners.
“I really love the game. I really love playing at OU,” he said. “I just wanted to play with my boys one more time. Just be able to come back and see what I can do.”