More Recent Stories
Boomer Bio: Allen Patrick
On Sale at Newsstands Now!
OU Running Back Steps Up
The temptation was simply too great for Allen Patrick to ignore.
After all, his family had traveled halfway across the country from South Carolina to see him play and there he was, racing toward the end zone and the first touchdown of his major college career. Who could blame him for wanting to make the moment a little more unforgettable?
Bob Stoops, for one.
Add Chuck Long to that list. And Cale Gundy. Probably Kevin Wilson, too.
Itâs not that members of Oklahomaâs coaching staff are a bunch of killjoys â no one appreciates a good TD run like those fellas. Itâs just they just arenât big on showboating. Thereâs never been a place for such behavior during Stoopsâ seven seasons with the Sooners, and they arenât about to start making exceptions now.
So when Patrick decided to untuck the football and extend it in front of him during the final 10 yards of his 28-yard scoring run, well, letâs just say the move didnât go over that big with Stoops and Company.
First of all, his pre-touchdown antics slowed him down just enough to allow a Texas A&M defender the chance to catch up. And while Patrick was able to secure the ball again and finish off the play, it was an obvious sign he still had some maturing to do within the OU system.
âHonestly, I just let the emotion of the moment get to me,â smiled Patrick. âIt was pretty special. Man, it felt good. I guess I got a little carried away.â
Patrickâs electrifying TD burst ended the first quarter, and by the time he returned to OUâs bench area, there were more than a handful of not-so-happy faces making up part of the welcoming committee.
âCoach Stoops basically said ânice play, but donât ever do that again,ââ explained Patrick. âHe said thatâs not the kind of stuff we do here at Oklahoma. And I can respect that.â
Chalk it up as a lesson learned, which he put on display during the opening quarter of the Bedlam game on Nov. 26. This time, Allen took the handoff, found the hole and raced 26 yards for his second touchdown.
No antics, no pre-end zone celebrations â just a smile that stretched from ear to ear.
Oddly enough, Patrick never imagined he would be running for touchdowns at OU, unless of course they were products of interception and fumble returns. Thatâs why the Sooners originally brought him in from the junior college ranks â so the 6-foot, 205-pound sophomore speedster could further hone his pass coverage skills.
But when injuries began to deplete OUâs offensive depth chart back in late September â especially in the backfield â the Sooners began exploring their options. Patrickâs rĂ©sumĂ© found its way onto the radar screen and soon after, he was studying the offensive playbook.
âThe way Allen has handled himself and contributed to our offense has been terrific,â said offensive coordinator Chuck Long. âIt really wasnât a tough transition for him because he had it in his background. And honestly, he seems like a more natural running back than defensive back.â
Maybe so, but Patrick found his way to OU by way of his skills as a defender. He was a juco preseason All-American safety at Independence (Kan.) Community in 2004, and thatâs where he excelled last season.
However, when asked if he would consider making a midseason switch to running back, the South Carolina native jumped at the chance.
âWe had some injuries on that side of the ball, so the coaches talked about the situation, maybe looked at some of my film as a running back, and decided to give me a shot. We didnât have a whole lot of options,â said Patrick, who had run for 101 yards on 21 carries going into the Bedlam game.
âItâs been fun for me to get the chance to contribute on the field, even though I know it could be just a temporary thing. Adrian (Peterson) is back now and some of the other guys are getting healthy again.â
Maybe. Maybe not.
Patrick was so productive the times he played offense during the regular season, the Sooners might be inclined to let him play on both sides of the ball in the future.
âAllen looked more and more comfortable in the backfield as the season has progressed. Plus, he has the passion and desire to do a great job there,â offered Long.
Editor's Note: Boomer Bio is a regular feature in each issue of Sooner Spectator Magazine.