Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks ‘never thought’ about opting out of Sooners’ bowl game versus Oregon

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  • Kennedy Brooks
    American football running back

Redshirt junior running back Kennedy Brooks has a decision to make on his future in the next several weeks.

One thing is for certain, though, Brooks had no intention of missing out on Oklahoma’s season finale against Oregon on Dec. 29 in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

“If you’re going to start something, finish it. I never thought about it. Having another chance to play this game, it’s a blessing. Me opting out last year, I missed it. I ain’t trying to opt out and miss more games, so I’ll love this opportunity just to play against Oregon. I think that’ll be fun,” Brooks said.

Brooks could be playing his final game as a Sooner against Oregon, but he’s yet to make that official.

“I’m going to address it after the game. My focus is just trying to beat Oregon and play this game, so that’s what I’m focused on right now,” Brooks said.

The 5-foot-11, 215 pound running back out of Mansfield, Texas, said one of the reasons he’s most excited to play in this game is the opportunity to play for Oklahoma interim head coach Bob Stoops.

“For me, I think it does. Playing with Bob, a legendary coach, I mean I think that will be fun. It’s something I always wanted to do. It’s one of the reasons why I came here, so having the chance to fulfill that dream for me, I think it’ll be fun,” Brooks said.

Brooks feels Oklahoma’s motivation for its bowl game against Oregon hasn’t changed with the program in transition.

“I mean, what I see is a team that wants to win like it’s always been. Going out to practice, people playing hard. We can’t be focused on what we can’t control. Right now, we need to focus on just practicing. Practice hard, getting better, learning the plays and going and beating Oregon. Our main goal is like it is for every game to win. It ain’t nothing different just because people opting out, a coach leaves or whatever. At the end of the day, it’s just football. That’s what we’ve been doing,” Brooks said.

Ultimately, Brooks isn’t focused on the beginning of a new era in this game against Oregon, but rather bouncing back from Oklahoma’s 37-33 loss against Oklahoma State in Bedlam.

“Not really the start of something fresh. Just more passionate. Just more meaning to it honestly. We lost versus Oklahoma State, so I feel like we just need a win. That’s all there is to it,” Brooks said.

Brooks has rushed for 1,111 yards on 184 carries with 10 rushing touchdowns this season. Over the course of his OU career, Brooks has rushed 458 times for 3,178 yards and 28 touchdowns.

With his efforts thus far in 2021, Brooks became just the fourth Sooner ever to record three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He joined De’Mond Parker (1996-98), Adrian Peterson (2004-06) and Samaje Perine (2014-16).

Oklahoma will be without four defensive starters against the Ducks. Linebacker Brian Asamoah, outside linebacker Nik Bonitto and defensive linemen Isaiah Thomas and Perrion Winfrey all announced their decisions to opt out of the Sooners’ bowl game and begin preparations for the 2022 NFL Draft.

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