Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle Is Ready to Become a National Star in 2012
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When people talked about Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense last season, QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon were the two main players that everyone seemed to focus on.
Weeden and Blackmon definitely deserved plenty of praise and publicity, as they were one of the most dangerous passing duos to grace the college game in the past decade, and were a big reason why the Cowboys ranked second in the country in scoring offense and third in total offense, averaging 48 points and 549 yards per game last year.
Since the two of them were the ones garnering the most attention, Oklahoma State’s third key offensive playmaker, RB Joseph Randle, didn’t receive the type of recognition that his 2011 performance truly warranted.
Even though Randle played for an offense that passed the ball way more than it ran it (595 pass attempts compared to just 392 rushing attempts), the explosive back still managed to put together an impressive eye-opening breakout campaign last year.
The 6’1’’, 200-pound junior stepped in for his highly productive predecessor Kendall Hunter and showed Pokes’ fans that they definitely didn’t have to worry about a drop-off at the position, as he ran for 1,216 yards on just 208 touches (5.8 yards per carry average), caught 43 passes out of the backfield for 266 yards and scored 26 total touchdowns in 2011.
Randle proved to be a perfect complement to Oklahoma State’s potent passing attack, as he gave the Cowboys the consistent rushing threat that really balanced out the offense and forced defense to play the run honestly.
Now that Blackmon and Weeden, who were both first-round picks at the 2012 NFL Draft, are gone, Randle is now set to be the focal point of the offense. He’ll be asked to take on a heavier workload in 2012, as true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt tries to get his feet under him this season.
This year, Randle will once again team with fellow junior backfield mate Jeremy Smith, who averaged 7.1 yards on 91 carries in 2011, to give Oklahoma State one of the most dynamic rushing duos in the country for the 2012 season.
The speedy and shifty home-run threat possesses the combination of size, speed, strength, vision, balance, toughness and rushing instincts that NFL teams are searching for in a featured back, and with another season of great production, he should emerge as one of the most coveted prospects available for the 2013 NFL draft.
Right now, everyone may be talking about other potential All-American backs such as Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Arkansas’ Knile Davis and South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore, but there’s no doubt that Joseph Randle belongs in the conversation for the title of college football’s best running back.
Although he'll be surrounded by plenty of new faces in the huddle, given the fact that the Cowboys are breaking in seven new starters on the offensive side of the ball in 2012, Randle appears poised to become the true offensive leader that the team needs him to be this season.
Oklahoma State’s offense won’t be able to match last year’s astounding production, but with Randle leading the way, it still has the chance to be one of the most powerful attacks in the Big 12 this year.
Randle is certainly a player who possesses true star potential, and it'll be fun to see what the game-changing back has to offer in 2012.
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