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How Good is Joseph Randle?



Photo Attribution: @eknielsen

Our most common (and recent) point of reference is Kendall Hunter. You know, the two-time first team All-Big 12 running back who #1 and #31 have made you completely forget about.

Let’s take a look at Hunter’s first three games in 2008 and 2010 (his first full season and last full season). We’ll throw out 2009 because of injuries.

Kendall Hunter
2008: 56 rushes for 449 yards and 6 TDs | 1 reception for 18 yards
2010: 60 rushes for 473 yards and 6 TDs | 11 receptions for 40 yards

Now let’s take a look at Randle’s first three games of the 2011 season.

Joseph Randle
2011: 62 rushes for 378 yards and 7 TDs | 12 receptions for 117 yards

So if you add up the total receiving and rushing yards (Hunter actually returned kicks for the first three games last year but I refuse to acknowledge that for how asinine it was), you get:

2008 Hunter: 467 and 6
2010 Hunter: 513 and 6
2011 Randle: 495 and 7

Hunter’s competition (Washington State, Houston, Missouri State, Troy, and Tulsa) in each year was similar to what Randle’s has been this year.

They both split carries with other backs – Hunter with Toston and Randle and Randle with Jeremy Smith. The one benefit Randle has in terms of piling up stats is that his quarterback isn’t stealing any dump-off receiving yards from him like Zac did to Kendall because of his ability to scramble. Mostly because Weeden’s ability to scramble is roughly equivalent to mine.

I’m not going to say Randle has been better this year than Hunter in 2008 or 2010 because those were some pretty special years from Spud, but the point is that there hasn’t been a drop-off.

Randle has picked up where Oklahoma State running backs are supposed to pick up – at the top of the pile of NCAA statistics and at the head of the class of Big 12 running backs.

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