Nic Anderson, Peyton Bowen named finalists for Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year award

The Oklahoma Sooners had a ton of freshmen play this year. It wasn’t only in mop-up duty either. A number of freshmen played significant snaps for the Sooners in 2023.

Two players, Nic Anderson and Peyton Bowen, were key to Oklahoma’s success this year. And with their strong performances, they were named finalists for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year award.

Anderson emerged early in the season as the Sooners’ No. 4 wide receiver. He caught touchdown passes left and right and came through on the Sooners’ biggest drive of the season with the game-winner against Texas. In that game Andrel Anthony was lost for the season due to a knee injury and Anderson became a starter for the Sooners on the outside.

This season, Anderson caught 31 passes for 725 yards and nine touchdowns. He was second on the team in yards and touchdowns. No player averaged more yards per reception than Anderson’s 23.4 yards per catch this season.

Peyton Bowen earned an opportunity to be a part of both the safety and cheetah rotations in Brent Venables’ defense. And though he battled injuries, put up a solid season with 33 total tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack. He also had a pair of blocked punts and five passes defended.

Anderson and Bowen were part of a freshman group that led the nation in snaps among the top 25 teams. Oklahoma was the only school that had two freshmen nominated for the award.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire