Marcus Major's 'Unexpected' Return Should Help Oklahoma Against TCU and Beyond


DeMarco Murray didn’t know he was going to have Marcus Major available last week against Texas.

But now the secret is out. Expect Major to play this week against TCU.

Major’s sudden return from academic ineligibility didn’t allow him to practice with the offense and gain a spot on the two-deep for the Texas game. It came so late in the week, there just wasn’t a place for him in the game plan against the Longhorns.

“It was a nice surprise, honestly,” head coach Lincoln Riley said. “It was a little unexpected. It’s good to have him back in the fold.”

A source told SI Sooners Major was ruled academically ineligible before the season because of a transcript oversight regarding his summer curriculum. Over the past six weeks, Major was able to make up the required work, the source said.

Word of Major’s "unexpected" eligibility came after the team’s preparations for the Red River Rivalry were already finished. Although he has practiced with the scout team all season and is in adequate game shape and is physically ready to contribute, all he could do in the Cotton Bowl was watch.

“We’ll get him back reacclimated with us offensively,” Riley said. “He’s still been in meetings and all that. He just needs some reps to get back in the flow and rhythm.”

This week, Major should be good to go as Murray and Lincoln Riley seek options to carry the football alongside Murray’s only two scholarship running backs in Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray.

“It will be great to have,” Riley said. “We’ve been fortunate to keep those guys healthy up to this point. We know that position, especially in games like Saturday when they were super productive, it’s also a very physical position. Having him back will certainly help.”

Riley said during spring practice and reiterated during training camp he was looking forward to watching what Major would bring to the offense this season after his nine-carry, 110-yard rushing performance against Florida in the Cotton Bowl.

The 5-foot-11, 224-pound third-year sophomore from Oklahoma City has 45 career rushes for 215 yards (4.8-yard average) and three touchdowns, plus two catches for 29 yards. His 46-yard TD burst against the Gators last December was a tantalizing taste of what he can do.

“He’s got some good experience, some good explosion,” Riley said Tuesday. “He’ll bring some size and some real physicality to the room, which will be a nice addition.”

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