Big 12 News

Oklahoma State RB Depth Takes a Hit With AJ Green Out for ‘First Few Months’

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy spoke with 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello last week and revealed some unfortunate news for the Cowboys ahead of the 2024 season.

Running back AJ Green, who transferred in from Arkansas back in January, will miss much of the upcoming season after suffering a lower leg injury in camp this spring. He was expected to spell Doak Walker award winner Ollie Gordon this season in a run-heavy offensive scheme.

Back in April, photos surfaced of Green with his leg in a soft cast and propped up, which obviously caused concern among the Oklahoma State faithful. Now, Coach Gundy has removed all speculation from the situation by confirming that Green isn’t likely to do much in the coming months.


“He’s injured,” Gundy told Marcello. “I’m not expecting him to do much this year. He had an injury. I don’t expect him to do much over the first few months.”

A Tulsa native, Green’s return back to the Panhandle State had Oklahoma State feeling very good about its prospects at running back—a one-two punch of Gordon and Green would’ve been among the best tandems in the country.

It’s undoubtedly a disappointing development for the Pokes, as Gundy and the rest of the OSU staff were incredibly excited about Green’s performance in spring ball. Having a player with three years of SEC experience is invaluable, but now that experience will have to wait another year to produce fruit in Stillwater.


“What we need him to do is bring a physical, mature presence that allows our younger backs to develop,” Gundy said of Green in the spring. “I feel good where we’re at depth-wise at that position, but those guys can go down fast. We needed a mature guy, and he brings that to the table. So far, he’s done really well.”

Over three seasons as a Razorback, Green amassed 953 yards on 201 carries (4.7 ypc) with six rushing touchdowns. He also added 19 receptions for 187 yards and two scores.

With Green out for the foreseeable future, Oklahoma State will need someone else to step up and take some of the load off of No. 0, as Gordon shouldered too much of the offense for the Pokes last season. In fact, Gordon had 285 of OSU’s 449 rushing attempts in 2023, which comes out to about 63.5%.


“(Gordon) carried the ball too much last year,” Gundy said. “We’ve got to do a better job of protecting him for this season and for his future. He wants the ball, he likes that, but that was a lot of carries last year. We jumped on his back last year, and he had to do it, but I would prefer for that not to happen this year.”

Indiana transfer Trent Howland will certainly play a major role for the Cowboys and is a load at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. After logging just eight carries in his first two seasons, Howland turned 75 carries into 354 yards (4.7 ypc) and two touchdowns last season.

Behind him, sophomore Sesi Vailahi will also be a factor.

Oklahoma State opens up its 2024 season against two-time defending FCS champion South Dakota State on Saturday, August 31. The Jackrabbits carry a 29-game winning streak into the contest and are just 8.5-point underdogs to the Cowboys in Stillwater. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT, with coverage to be provided by ESPN+.

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