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OU football: Kennedy Brooks means not all the news is bad

The Peach Bowl news from Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley wasn’t all bad Wednesday. On the day it became clear that tailback Rhamondre Stevenson, and apparently defensive end Ronnie Perkins, will be suspended for the Dec. 28 semifinal against LSU, there was the positive news that tailback Kennedy Brooks would play in Atlanta.

With Riley going mostly mum about the reported suspensions, I asked him back-to-back questions about the tailbacks.

Will Brooks (who was injured in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 7) play in the Peach Bowl?

“Kennedy will play,” Riley said.

Will Rhamondre Stevenson play?

“Kennedy Brooks will play,” Riley said.

Well, that cleared that up.

Soonerscoop.com reported Wednesday that Perkins, Stevenson and Trejan Bridges are suspended. This is the time of year when football players are suspended for bowl games, from infractions involving academics to drug-test failures.

But the return of Brooks tempered the apparent bad news. Brooks emerged the second half of the season as the Sooners’ primary tailback. He has 976 yards on 145 carries.

With the season-ending injury of Trey Sermon and now the apparent loss of Stevenson, OU’s tailback depth is precarious. Brooks’ return solidifies the position to some degree.

Behind Brooks is sophomore T.J. Pledger, who has spent most of the last two seasons as a fourth-teamer.

OU’s other scholarship tailback, Marcus Major, is injured and unavailable.

Stevenson came on strong late in the season and finished with 515 yards on 64 carries.

Riley occasionally has used a two-tailback set to great success this season, so that remains an option, with Brooks and Pledger.

Pledger last season rushed 30 times for 179 yards but this season has just eight carries for 62 yards.

Related Photos
Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) is injured as he is brought down during the Big 12 Championship Game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Baylor University Bears at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Oklahoma won 30-23. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) is injured as he is brought down during the Big 12 Championship Game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Baylor University Bears at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Oklahoma won 30-23. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0c3e8497122eec2b0332a36fdeaf50a0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) is injured as he is brought down during the Big 12 Championship Game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Baylor University Bears at AT&amp;amp;T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Oklahoma won 30-23. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) is injured as he is brought down during the Big 12 Championship Game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Baylor University Bears at AT&amp;amp;T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Oklahoma won 30-23. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) is injured as he is brought down during the Big 12 Championship Game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Baylor University Bears at AT&amp;amp;T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Oklahoma won 30-23. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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