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Oklahoma adds a familiar face at RB via UCF
On an annual basis, the Oklahoma Sooners running back depth charts are always one of the deepest stables in the country.
On Tuesday, via email per SI Sooners’ John Hoover, Bentavious Thompson arrived in Norman to continue his football pursuits after sitting out the 2021 season with UCF.
Bentavious Thompson Bio
Thompson was buried on the depth chart at UCF as an underclassman, sitting behind Adrian Killins breakaway speed, Otis Anderson’s all-purpose ability, and Greg McCrae’s breakout performances.
During the 2019 season against East Carolina, Bentavious Thompson took advantage of a depleted backfield due to injuries to Killins and McCrae. Thompson on his first carry burned the Pirate's defense for a 32-yard touchdown. Thompson took advantage of the situation rushing for 604 yards on 87 carries for 8 touchdowns nearly 7 yards a clip.
Thompson played that 2019 season under new Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and with quarterback Dillon Gabriel.
Lebby left for Ole Miss prior to the 2020 season.
While the Knights had an explosive 2020 season being the 8th scoring offensive in the nation at 42.2 PPG and averaging nearly 570 yards per game and 7 yards per play, Thompson couldn’t unseat Greg McCrae or Otis Anderson for touches, as Thompson only received 21.4% of the touches distributed between McCrae and Anderson.
Thompson sat out the 2021 season as UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn announced Thompson was no longer with the team.
What is Oklahoma getting in Bentavious Thompson?
Thompson at 6 foot and 197 pounds, will add quality depth to an already strong running back group.
Bentavious Thompson will be a legitimate home-run threat anytime he touches the ball for OU, during the 2020 season with UCF he had 20 carries of 15 or more yards that ranked fourth in the American Athletic Conference allowing Thompson a big-impact despite the limited touches.
His familiarity with Lebby’s offense, and chemistry with starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel should give him an inside edge of getting more touches.
When he does get opportunities, Thompson is an excellent perimeter player and works great in space. He has great hands and has the ability to be an excellent receiver. His route tree as a receiver isn’t as deep, but it should be one of the more advanced trees amongst current Sooner running backs.
When running the ball, Thompson runs low to the ground and possesses a vision to identify gaps to hit.
Oklahoma Depth Chart
1. Eric Gray (Senior)
2. Marcus Major (Junior)
2B. Jovantae Barnes (Freshman)
3. Bentavious Thompson (Senior)
4. Gavin Sawchuk (Freshman)
Gray and Major look like the leaders in the backfield so far for new head coach Brent Venables. Freshman Jovantae Barnes however has impressed early and some believe he could even eventually earn the starting job. Behind them are two backs who have extreme potential to be major contributors early and become the lead backs.
Thompson’s home run threat and pass-catching ability could outperform Gray and Major.
Barnes who comes in as a true freshman was a Top 10 high school back in the country and with scouting reports that read, “high-end muscular build, great footwork, demonstrates tremendous upside as an every-down back, and has equal ability for breakaway speed and powerful enough to drag defenders,” is usually a recipe to see a lot of early action.