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Oklahoma Football Spotlight: Rookie RB Jovantae Barnes

Oklahoma’s football program just lost Kennedy Brooks into the NFL, and for the first time in a couple of years, the Sooners lead runner is airborne.

Many suspect Eric Gray, the Tennessee transfer, will take on the role, and he most likely will. Others have their eyes on the child from the home state Mark Majorwhich was showered with compliments and even compared at one point Adrian Peterson. Newbie runs back Jovantae Barnes, from Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, however, could be the main cast once the season is over. This kid is legit!

Barnes is already enrolled and competed in the Oklahoma Spring Game on April 23, and he showed up to a packed Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Since arriving at OU he has already gained about 15 pounds. He was listed at just under 190 pounds during the camp cycle a season ago. Barnes now sits at 6 feet and 203 pounds.

This puts him in a very good position physically, especially in the remaining summer months, to start playing and contributing straight away.

In the spring game, Barnes carried 17 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns. While the mileage might not blow you away, he displayed very nice speed and overview, as well as the ability to shrug off a tackle or two. He has a one-cut style that fits perfectly with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby’s system.

You can watch highlights from the Oklahoma Spring Game below, and you’ll see plenty of No. 2 Jovantae Barnes.

There was once another Las Vegas one-cut back who graced the Sooner Nation with a similar stride and body type. This man – DeMarco Murray — He just so happens to be the running backs coach for the Sooners. Murray had loads of compliments on his young runner,

“Jovantae came every day for a young man. He didn’t waver at all. We throw a bunch at him and he should still be in high school. He’s handling it right. He’s a really good athlete, he’s strong, he’s powerful.

Whenever you think of a young child you always wonder how mature he is and what the mindset is and you know it. Can he play as a freshman? He’s put himself in a great position since January to have that opportunity if he keeps working hard, understanding offense and just staying physical.

Barnes is known for his skills as a runner and receiver. He’s a complete package at the position and is expected to be a big player for Oklahoma while he’s on campus.

You can watch highlights from the Oklahoma Spring Game below, and you’ll see plenty of No. 2 Jovantae Barnes.

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