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How Ollie Gordon Became Oklahoma State’s 11th Unanimous All-American

Gordon was named to the American Football Coaches Association’s All-America First Team.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Ollie Gordon joined another exclusive list on Thursday.

Gordon was named to the American Football Coaches Association’s All-America First Team — making Gordon a unanimous All-American. He becomes the 11th unanimous All-American in program history.

What Makes an All-American Unanimous?

The NCAA has five designated All-American teams to abide by: the AFCA, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America, the Associated Press and The Sporting News. With Gordon being named to all five of those first teams, he is unanimous.

What Other OSU Greats Have Achieved Unanimous Status?

Here is the updated list of 11 (Justin Blackmon did it twice), but it has a few caveats:

Ollie Gordon (2023)
Chuba Hubbard (2019)
James Washington (2017)
Justin Blackmon (2010 & 2011)
Russell Okung (2009)
Alonzo Mayes (1997)
Barry Sanders (1988)
Leslie O’Neal (1985)
Terry Miller (1977)
Bob Fenimore (1945)

The first caveat comes with OSU’s first unanimous All-American, Bob Fenimore. Fenimore was an All-American on the five designated outlets, but there were 10 outlets back in 1945. Fenimore wasn’t on all 10.

It’s a similar situation to Alonzo Mayes in 1997, when there were six designated outlets. Mayes was on the five used today but not the sixth.

So neither appear on the NCAA’s list of unanimous All-Americans, but if you go by the guidelines used now, both would be included. So depending on who you ask, Gordon was either OSU’s 11th unanimous All-American or its ninth.

How Gordon Got Here

A 6-foot-1, 211-pound sophomore, Gordon enters bowl season as the nation’s rushing leader with 1,614 yards. He is second in rushing touchdowns with 20. And all that came after Gordon was used sparingly at the start of the season, carrying the ball a combined 19 times for 109 yards during OSU’s three nonconference games.

The Cowboys traveled to Ames in Week 4, where Gordon was handed the featured-back reigns. In a loss, Gordon rushed 18 times for 121 yards. That was the start of a six-game streak that saw Gordon eclipse the century mark each game.

The Cowboys were 2-2 when Gordon and his offensive line got the season back on track with a 29-21 win against Kansas State. Gordon rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown against the Wildcats.

But Gordon really started turning heads the next week when OSU beat Kansas 39-32 to advance to 4-2 on the season. Gordon had 168 rushing yards, 116 receiving yards and two total touchdowns that day. He was the first OSU running back to eclipse 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game since Gerald Hudson did it in 1989.

After Gordon’s versatility shined against the Jayhawks, he traveled to Morgantown and punished the Mountaineers with some downhill running. Gordon ran for 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-34 OSU win. Gordon was particularly outstanding late in that game, running for 149 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone. The 282 yards were the ninth-most an OSU player has ran for in a game in program history and most since Chuba Hubbard ran for 296 in 2019.

How did he follow up that ridiculous day? By basically doing the same thing against Cincinnati. OSU torched the Bearcats, winning 45-13, and Gordon ran for 271 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon joined Barry Sanders as the only OSU running backs to run for 250 yards in consecutive weeks.

Then came Bedlam. With all of the Sooners’ focus on stopping the sophomore superstar, Gordon ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns in OSU’s 27-24 win. That performance alone would’ve been enough to cement himself in OSU lore by beating the Sooners in the final Bedlam before OU leaves for the SEC.

Things were brought back down to earth in Orlando the next week. The Cowboys got down big early to UCF before a monsoon hit and turned a bad day worse for the Cowboys. OSU lost that game 45-3, and Gordon carried only 12 times for 25 yards.

Now with no slack remaining to make it to Arlington for the Big 12 title game, Gordon tapped back into beast mode. He ran for 164 yards and three touchdowns in OSU’s comeback win against Houston to push the Pokes to 8-3.

The Cowboys then faced a win-and-in scenario against a BYU team that had nothing to lose and everything to gain. In a double-overtime comeback, Gordon ran for 166 yards and five touchdowns to punch the Cowboys’ ticket to the Big 12 title game, including a go-ahead score in the second OT where he evaded seemingly half of the Cougar defense in the backfield before leaping through contact at the goal line to score.

Unfortunately for Gordon and the Cowboys, the Big 12 title game had a similar vibe to the Pokes’ trip to UCF. OSU lost 49-21, and Texas’ vaunted run defense kept Gordon in check, as he ran for 34 yards on 13 carries.

Gordon can improve upon his unanimous All-America/Doak Walker-winning season in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 27 when OSU plays Texas A&M.

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