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Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu
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A Closer Look At the OU Running back
Two weeks shy of his 21st birthday, Mossis Madu is sitting on top of the world. And he hasn’t even left his own backyard.
OK, so he did move down the street from Norman High School to the University of Oklahoma two years ago. But these days Madu is still doing the thing he does best — running with a football — in his hometown and in front of his home fans.
As Sooner faithful know, Madu has developed into solid contributor in a backfield loaded with guys like DeMarco Murray, Chris Brown, Jermie Calhoun and Justin Johnson. Anyone who thought the 6-foot, 196-pound running back was destined to get lost in the talent shuffle obviously didn’t know Madu, who has been described by running backs coach Cale Gundy as one of the hardest working players on the team.
Ironically, Madu almost opted to take his act on the road back in 2006.
The recruiting winds were blowing him toward the West Coast before he decided playing for Oklahoma was what he truly wanted to do.
“It came down to OU and UCLA and it was a very, very thin margin. I remember telling my Mom one night that I was going to UCLA,” admitted Madu, who was coming off of a season at NHS in which he ran for more than 1,500 yards and 25 touchdowns.
A recruiting visit to Los Angeles offered an atmosphere Madu had never experienced.
“What is there not to like about UCLA. It’s on the West Coast, right by the Pacific Ocean — and I was like ‘Wow, I’ve never been to the ocean in my life,’” said Madu. “It was a whole different world than Oklahoma, plus I had a brother and sister who didn’t live that far away in Bakersfield, so that made it even more attractive.
“I thought it would be a good new experience for me. I thought it would be good for me to get away from home.”
But when it came right down to it, familiar surroundings and the comforts of home proved more important.
“I decided to stay home close to Mom,” smiled Madu. “And it’s turned out to be the right decision.”
Sooner fans would certainly agree.
After redshirting his freshman season — a period he used to mature and learn about the challenges he faced at the Division-I level — Madu earned a measure of respect as a special teams last season. He also saw spot duty playing in the rather dim shadow of Murray, Brown and now-departed Allen Patrick, but scored a pair of touchdowns that made him that much hungrier.
“People preach patience and that’s what I’ve tried to be during my time here. I’m going to keep fighting for what I want and that’s playing time,” said Madu, who has already found the end zone three times this season since joining the regular backfield rotation.
“My goal is to keep working and working and working, because I know that’s what I need to do to make a difference in this program. In a program like Oklahoma’s, you can’t take a day off. People are pushing to take your spot every single practice.”
Competition has been fierce with Murray and Brown and some of the younger backs, but Madu is taking it all in stride. He feels being around the talent he battles against every day only makes him better.
“When you are around players like DeMarco and Chris, you know you have to go out there every day and compete. That kind of competition makes you better,” offered Madu, who also explained the relationship between himself and his backfield mates.
“I can see where someone outside the program might there are grudges or hard feelings between us, but all of the running backs here are a really tight-nit group. We are like brothers out there. We’re blessed to be in this situation. We’ve got each other’s backs.
“If DeMarco scores, we’re all happy. If I have a big run or Chris scores, we’re all happy. We have a common goal.”
That’s just the way those guys roll.
Besides playing his way into the mix, the most enjoyable aspect of Madu’s 2008 season to this point has been seeing his old friend and high school teammate Ryan Broyles experience success at wide receiver.
Through the first five games, Broyles led the Sooners with an eye-popping 19.7 yards per catch average.
“Ryan is like my little brother. We’re close. We’ve been best friends forever,” added Madu. “Playing together with Ryan is like high school all over again. We’re loving it."
(Editor's Note: This story appears in the Oct. 16 issue of Sooner Spectator. To subscribe, call toll free 1-877-841-8877 or sign up on-line)