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Oklahoma State Could Have Two Freshmen Playing at Running Back



When Oklahoma State’s depth chart was released on Friday ahead of the Tulsa game, it included Justice Hill in the No. 1 slot (duh) and four players with three “ors” behind him. J.D. King or Ja’Ron Wilson or LD Brown or Chuba Hubbard.

We reported earlier this week that King is going to be the backup for Tulsa and will get backup-like carries, and Gundy elaborated on what he likes about the new No. 27 and how he compares to Justice last year.

“J.D. is a completely different athlete body-wise (than Justice last year),” said Gundy. “J.D. is very developed. I think he’s 209 pounds. Justice was like a buck-78 last year. Intelligent-wise, very similar. Ability to catch the ball, very similar. J.D. is considerably ahead of him in protection based on being 40 pounds bigger. Make people miss, Hill might have that advantage right now. Ability to run through tackles, maybe King. We’ll see.”

As for picking up culture and schemes and all the things that go along with being a freshman that none of us ever see, Gundy said King has been immense.

“He’s done very well. If he was struggling in that area, we wouldn’t play him. Even though a young man has talent, it’s not fair to put them out there unless they’re ready physically and mentally. You’re talking about two very bright kids.”

But there’s another (maybe more intriguing) freshman who plays RB as well, and that’s Chuba Hubbard. The Canadian track star might have the longest journey home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but he could probably make it in the fastest time.

“I think we’re going to play him,” Gundy said of Hubbard.”He’s staying up and practicing with the varsity, that’s the best way I can put it. The guys who are up there full time, there’s a chance they could be in the game. We have kept guys up there before and practiced them all year, and we held them back. So I don’t know what they’re going to do with him right now. But he is a good prospect.

“He has made tremendous strides in the last 10 practices which you would expect. He has a long ways to go, but when he breaks through and gets in the open, it’s over. Gone. That’s what I like about it.”

So that was awesome, but then Gundy took it to the next level with a comp to one of the best running backs to ever suit up in Stillwater, and now my expectations are higher than the front row at a Willie Nelson concert.

“He needs a lot of work, but from a body standpoint, this is probably not a fair comparison just based on the guy’s success, but he plays and acts like during the game — he’s highly intelligent — like Joe Randle did,” said Gundy.


“He kind of plays like Joe Randle did when he was a freshman. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had some young people come into our program who get the game really fast. I didn’t think he would coming from where he came from. I thought it would take him a long time to figure out that part of it. But he’s done really well.”

So there you go. It looks like five running backs will play — Gundy said they would like to split the carries 18-7-3 with Justice getting the 18 and presumably King getting the seven for now. But maybe Hubbard leapfrogs him or slides into that No. 3 slot. It’s going to be interesting to keep tabs on this combination of runners all season as a team with playoff potential could be set with its top three rushers having an aggregate of one year of collegiate experience.

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