Freshman update: RB Alex Ross

Oklahoma doesn’t need Alex Ross to make an impact next season. But don’t be surprised if the redshirting running back sees playing time in 2013. Why? Because Ross brings a unique combination of size, at 6-foot-1, and terrific speed at 204 pounds.

Asked about Ross's most impressive trait, fellow running back Brennan Clay didn’t have to think twice.

“His speed, of course,” Clay said. “He’s putting on weight and he’s done a great job with the scout team, giving the defense a great look. He’s young and he’s learning. I’m excited to see him get on the field."

Ross was so impressive in fall camp he almost played his way out of a redshirt season, though the Sooners' running back corps featured several veteran ball carriers. This fall, Ross has continued to impress while working with the scout team against the Sooners' No. 1 defense.

“He’s a great player,” said linebacker Corey Nelson, who went against Ross daily during the season. “He’s real strong, stronger than what he looks, and he’s elusive in open space as well.”

Nelson has noticed the freshman's progress as Ross has gotten more comfortable in the program.

“When he first got here, he was trying to find what he was good at, trying to fit in,” Nelson said. “Now he’s relaxed; when you go against him, he does his thing. I see a major difference in the way he plays now.”

The Sooners return Clay and Damien Williams -- their top two rushers this season -- in 2013, yet Ross could earn himself a role in the offense, thanks to his unusual combination of size, speed and explosiveness.

“Alex Ross sees the hole very well and he’s very explosive,” cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “When he hits a hole, he’s flying out of there and looking to house it, every time. He can run with the best of them, he can fly and he’s a big guy. I’ve never really played anybody like that.”