Another day, another set of Sooners landing on a major award watch list.
Oklahoma junior running back Eric Gray and redshirt junior running back Kennedy Brooks were both named to the Doak Walker Award watch list on Wednesday, an honor presented annually to college football’s best running back.
Gray, a transfer from Tennessee, brings over an extremely dynamic play style that looks to flourish in Lincoln Riley’s offense. His athleticism and ability to catch passes out of the backfield make him a dream option for the Sooners and quarterback Spencer Rattler as they look to engineer one of the strongest offenses in the country.
In 24 career games with the Volunteers, Gray ran for 1,311 yards at over five yards per carry with eight touchdowns. He also managed to catch 43 passes in that timeframe for 369 yards and three more scores. Gray enters the new season as the preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
Brooks, meanwhile, returns to the Sooners after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. Simply put, when he was with Oklahoma in 2018 and 2019 he was one of the elite running backs in the conference.
Brooks ran for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons in Norman at a 7.5 yards per carry clip with 18 total touchdowns. Along with Gray, the Sooners look to have a top shelf tandem in the backfield.
The Doak Walker Award began in 1990 and, believe it or not, has never been won by an Oklahoma player. So, Gray and Brooks will both be chasing a little bit of Sooner history in 2021.
Alabama’s Najee Harris won the honor a year ago with Texas’ D’Onta Foreman being the most recent Big 12 winner in 2016.