After leading the nation with 1,614 rushing yards, Ollie Gordon will return to Oklahoma State for his junior season. It is a great development for OSU’s offense in 2024 and a testament to OSU’s ability to retain stars through NIL deals.
STILLWATER — Take a breath, Oklahoma State fans. Ollie Gordon, the nation’s leading rusher, is returning to Stillwater.
Gordon announcedon Sunday he intends to return for his junior season. He burst onto the national scene with OSU this season, eventually winning the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s most outstanding running back. He rushed for 1,614 yards and 20 touchdowns. After OSU’s 33-7 week-three loss to South Alabama, the Cowboys began to structure their running game around Gordon, who proved to thrive in a simple, downhill scheme.
Gordon made the announcement via a video that featured OSU President Kayse Shrum and mascot Pistol Pete.
Gordon received more than 20 carries in seven games and scored multiple touchdowns six times and was OSU’s offensive engine.
Retaining a star player is a positive sign for OSU’s future NIL prospects. Gordon is estimated to have an NIL value of $644,000, according to on3.com.
The last time the Cowboys had a running back of Gordon’s stature was in 2019 with Chuba Hubbard. Hubbard led the nation with 2,094 yards and turned down the NFL Draft to return for his senior season.
In front of Gordon, much of a veteran offensive line has committed to return.
Center Joe Michalski announced on Dec. 5 that he is returning. Redshirt seniors Cole Birmingham, Dalton Cooper and Jake Springfield have indicated their plans to return next season as well, along with redshirt junior guard Jason Brooks
Redshirt senior guard Preston Wilson can also return.
The pieces in OSU’s offense should make it an attractive landing spot for a quarterback in the portal if OSU quarterback Alan Bowman does not return.
The Cowboys could feature Sesi Vailahi more heavily next season as a change-of-pace player behind Gordon
Jaden Nixon, Gordon’s backup this season, entered the transfer portal. Senior running back Elijah Collins graduated. That leaves Vailahi, who will be a sophomore. Vailahi appeared in OSU’s final two games and drew praise from coach Mike Gundy after the Big 12 Championship.
(Ben Hutchens contributed to this story.)