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Spring Football: Ollie Gordon Leads an OSU Running Back Group That Could Be Even Better in 2024

The Cowboys’ running game could be even better in 2024.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Oklahoma State has all the pieces to make its third trip to the Big 12 Championship in four years, and at the top of that list is its superstar running back.

The Cowboys enjoyed a running back renaissance last season, much-needed after the departure of dual-threat quarterback Spencer Sanders. Although OSU coaches efforted over the first three games to determine who was the best QB to lead their offense, the answer was right there next to them in the backfield. OSU settled on a quarterback by their Big 12 opener, but more importantly, the Cowboys settled on Ollie Gordon II as the engine for their offensive machine. And they didn’t look back.

Let’s take a look at the running back group, led by Gordon, as the Cowboys prepare for spring camp. Be sure to check out our Spring Quarterback Preview, as well.

Ollie Is Back

Oklahoma State fans received a gift on Christmas Eve when the nation’s leading rusher confirmed his return to Oklahoma State. Gordon’s breakout season was highlighted by OSU’s first Doak Walker trophy, unanimous All-American status and a Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. His 1,732 rushing yards led the nation, and he ranked second with 21 rushing scores. He eclipsed 100 yards in nine of the last 11 games and led the Big 12 with 6.1 yards per attempt.

But more than that, and more than his sideline emphatic sideline presence, Gordon makes OSU a Big 12 contender, and possibly more. And he makes BPS a destination this fall. Try to enjoy it, Cowboys fans.

Who Else?

Jaden Nixon took to the portal this offseason which means that Sesi Vailahi is the only other running back on the roster with any experience in the system. He cobbled together just 27 yards on six carries in his true freshman season.

Who’s New?

Help is on the way. One of the more underrated additions this offseason is that of former Arkansas running back A.J. Green. The Tulsa native rushed for 953 yards and six scores over the last three years for the Razorbacks. He was consistent, churning out nearly five yards per carry throughout, and provides a change of pace from Gordon’s thunderous, lanky lightning. Green packs a punch at 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds. But more than that, he gives OSU some proven depth in a key spot where it would have been lacking.

Number That Matters: 28/14

Starting with their Big 12 opener, when Gordon was handed the RB1 duties, OSU’s winning or losing seemed to have a lot to do with how much its star touched the ball. In wins, Gordon averaged 28 carries. In losses, he averaged 14. This is a high-level and maybe over-simplified metric, but it points us toward a universal truth: Give No. 0 the ball and good things will happen.

RB Outlook

The Cowboys look to be in as good of a spot in the RB room as they have in any spring over the last five or so seasons. With the eternal caveat that the team remains healthy, there’s no reason not to expect the Pokes to be even harder to stop on the ground in 2024.

Spring RB Depth Chart Prediction

RB1 Ollie Gordon
RB2 A.J. Green
RB 3 Sesi Vailahi

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