Oklahoma RB Kennedy Brooks Reportedly Opts Out of 2020 Season Amid COVID-19

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks (26) carries during an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

If the Big 12 plays college football amid the COVID-19 pandemic this season, Oklahoma will reportedly be without running back Kennedy Brooks.

On Sunday, Jason Kersey of The Athletic reported Brooks told head coach Lincoln Riley he plans to opt out of the 2020 campaign. It is another hit to the team's running back depth chart, as Trey Sermon transferred to Ohio State this offseason and Rhamondre Stevenson will miss the start of the season because of an NCAA suspension.

This news leaves Oklahoma with T.J. Pledger, redshirt freshman Marcus Major and true freshman Seth McGowan at running back. Pledger has just 40 carries in his collegiate career.

Eddie Radosevich of SoonerScoop.com shared Riley's Saturday comments about the running back room:

Eddie Radosevich @Eddie_Rado

In light of the Kennedy Brooks news (reported by @jasonkersey) here was Lincoln Riley talking about the #Sooners RB room just yesterday. https://t.co/80DOMh5Yha

Kersey noted Brooks considered entering the 2020 NFL draft before he returned to school. He is coming off two impressive seasons in which he tallied 1,056 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman in 2018 and 1,011 rushing yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore.

Brooks' reported decision is all the more notable because Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported Saturday that Riley said nine Oklahoma players tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest batch of tests.

Despite the risk of playing during a pandemic, the Big 12, SEC and ACC still plan on holding their football seasons in the fall. The Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed fall sports.

Oklahoma is slated to begin its season Sept. 12 against Missouri State.