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Baylor Football

Big 12 Scouting Report: Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson

May 18, 2017
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Baylor’s talent isn’t the only thing that controls the Bears’ path in the Big 12, the conference is half of the equation as well. This is Sean Cordy’s weekly look at what to expect from some of the league’s top talents looking to take down the Bears.

Baylor has claimed the title Wide Receiver U for some time now but during that reign, Oklahoma reclaimed Running Back U. Both schools are in a similar position with their top two talents moving to the NFL, putting their respective titles in question, especially the Sooners.

How do you replace two modern legends in Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, a 1-2 punch that punched in 56 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards the past two seasons? Where does offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley turn to earn his record-breaking contract?

The answer is muddled and may not be solved until conference play begins like Riley’s first year in Norman but the starting point has to be Rodney Anderson.

If you’re not familiar with Anderson’s name, no one cane blame you. He has only played two games the past two seasons thanks to an string of injuries. But you recruiting and Texas football junkies should know him well from his days at Katy High School.

An ESPN 300 recruit in 2015, Anderson had schools like Texas A&M, Auburn, and Baylor chasing him down but he ultimately opted for a darker shade of red and white with the Sooners.

Anderson had scouts attention as soon as he hit the turf as a freshman, churning out his first thousand-yard season. As he continued to grow, he kept turning up the heat, ending his high school career with 93 total touchdowns and nearly 6,000 yards from scrimmage.

Though, some of his production can be attributed to his size. Standing at 6-foot-1 as a senior, Anderson towered over would-be tacklers, regularly inflating his 9.1-yard average with runs over 50 yards because of high schoolers’ tendency for arm tackles.

The Big 12 will be a different beast for Anderson but his tape still shows the potential for a big year as the Sooners’ workhorse.

Anderson has also added 15 pounds and an extra inch since arriving in Norman. That’s nowhere near Perine’s frame (one of his thighs seemed as big as Anderson) but comparisons to Mixon are within reason- a near-pound-for-pound match.



Looking at Mixon’s tape, he excelled most running through gaps into open field to turn on the heat, an area of strength for Anderson. Also like Mixon, he has shown the ability to read broken blocks and bounce runs to the outside, picking up extra yards wherever possible with fine-tuned agility.

Also like Mixon, Anderson has also shown grit in the return game, potentially calming nerves about his ability as a receiver as well.

However, spending time in Riley’s Air Raid offense should have rubbed off on Anderson the past couple of seasons to potentially help him fill the three-down role Mixon inhabited. Though, some of those duties could fall to freshman four-star athlete Marcelias Sutton or Kennedy Brooks.

Some may consider Abdul Adams the leading candidate to take over most of the touches after seeing action in seven games last season. But as Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey noted, coach Bob Stoops and Riley count on experience and Anderson’s three years on campus bode well for him to see the majority of touches.

If Anderson really could be up to Mixon’s level, Baylor will have it’s hands full. Mixon ran over the Bears for 124 yards on just 14 carries last year, adding another 63 yards as a receiver. But if the Temple defense Matt Rhule and Phil Snow have brought over is any indication, that should be curtailed. The Owls allowed just one running back with over 40 yards receiving last season, even putting a stop to Penn State’s do-it-all-back Saquon Barkley for just seven yards.

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Big 12 Scouting Report: Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson

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