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Ollie Gordon Talks Support from Fanbase, Learning as a Freshman Heading into Sophomore Season

Gordon rushed for 308 yards and two TDs as a highly regarded freshman.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — There is always a certain mystique about incoming freshmen, but Ollie Gordon quickly became some sort of folk hero for Cowboy faithful upon his arrival to campus.

It’s easy to see why. He was a jumbo running back who turned down offers to Texas and Michigan — in the NIL era no less — to come to Stillwater. He was a four-star prospect and one of the highest-rated running back signees in OSU’s history.

Gordon quickly becoming a fan favorite made everything he did on the field in his freshman season intensified. His spin move against Central Michigan sent OSU Twitter into a frenzy — all for a nine-yard gain.

His runs of 10 yards felt like they were 50 yards. Him trucking through a would-be tackle felt like must-see TV.

“It means a lot [to have the support of the fanbase],” Gordon said. “Especially with everything that happened in that year. A bunch of fans were, I wouldn’t say turned on the players, but just down-talking them. I would hate to be on that side of it. But just the fact that they took me in and were very supportive of me, I really appreciate them. We have a great fanbase — I can say that. You would know if you come to games. Everybody knows if you come to games our fanbase is great.”

Gordon finished his freshman season having rushed for 308 yards and a pair of scores. He split carries with Dominic Richardson, Jaden Nixon and Deondre Jackson in 2022. Among players listed as running backs on OSU’s 2022 roster, Gordon received 21% of the carries, second to only Richardson who had 51%. Gordon said he hadn’t been in a committee backfield since his sophomore year of high school, so it was a bit of an adjustment.

“It was different,” Gordon said. “Used to playing a lot, but I have to learn the game, you know? You can’t just come in and start. You got to work for your spot. I couldn’t even be mad about that. I had to put in the work.”

The Cowboys again have options at running back in 2023 with Gordon, Nixon and Jackson back plus the addition of Michigan State transfer Elijah Collins. But if the end of last season is an example of where Gordon sits in the pecking order, expect Gordon’s percentage of totes to pick up in his sophomore season because 29 of his 62 carries last season came in OSU’s final two games.

Gordon said he learned a lot in 2021, comparing his on-field work to his school work.

“It’s like when you study for a test — you actually study for a test — you get out there, you get to the test and you’re like, ‘OK, I know what I’m doing — I’m good,'” Gordon said. “That’s how it feels. Did my studying last year and now I know a little bit of what I’m doing. I’m still learning.”

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