The Path to Norman
TJ Pledger said early in his recruitment that the Sooners were RBU, so he knew he’d be visiting. A highly talented California native who played at IMG Academy in Florida, the star running back visited OU on a handful of occasions. On one such visit roughly a year before his signing day, Pledger committed to the Sooners.
TJ became a vocal recruiter for OU, voicing his high opinion of Norman to other recruits. However, come summer, rumors started to pop up about Nebraska and UCLA making hard pushes for the talented running back. With IMG teammate Bookie committed to the Huskers, Nebraska seemed like a real player. As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. Bookie and TJ both ended up as Sooners.
TFB spoke with TJ’s mother to get a better understanding of their family, which can be read here:
Career so Far
Pledger played at both running back and kick returner in 2018. He started out playing in the first five games; outside of a highlight-worthy Kansas State game, however, TJ did not see as much playing time in the second half of the season due to injury. Additionally, with an experience Trey Sermon and an emerging Kennedy Brooks in the backfield, it was tough to find enough carries to go around.
Position: Running Back
TFB has repeatedly heard how nice of an offseason Pledger has enjoyed, proving just how good of a running back he is. The running back room is impressively talented and full for the Sooners, with Sermon, Brooks, and Pledger returning as experience backs. Additionally, Rhamondre Stevenson and Marcus Major will be competing to see the field. Pledger looks likely to share the kick return duties with Tre Brown again. Hopefully, he can carve out a spot in the backfield as well.