Oklahoma State’s running attack hasn’t put up big numbers over the past few seasons.
In 2015, the Cowboys’ rushing offense was better than only Kansas in the Big 12 Conference and ranked No. 113 nationally after garnering just 126.8 yards per game.
But senior running back Rennie Childs is working hard to help change the perception of Oklahoma State’s ground game.
“I’m just a guy who loves the game and plays hard on every touch,” Childs said. “I’m always focused and try to make the most of every situation and take advantage of every carry.”
The Houston native has been productive in the young season. Childs scored four touchdowns and racked up 101 yards on 10 carries in Oklahoma State’s win over Pittsburgh and added two more scores in last week’s loss to Baylor. His six touchdowns this season match his career total through his first three years with the Cowboys.
Childs is a force when he gets the ball in his hands due to his strength and speed. He’s shown flashes of his potential, and his veteran experience mixed with the desire for a special senior year could spark a breakout season.
“I’m more mature, my confidence has built from playing more and I’m more comfortable in knowing what to do,” Childs said. “I want to take advantage of every game, because after every one, I’m never going to play that team again. I have to go hard every time.”
Childs was a standout at Cypress Ridge High School under head coach Gary Thiebaud. He rushed for 1,945 yards and 19 touchdowns his senior season and earned First Team All-District 17-5A and All-Greater Houston Second-Team honors from the Houston Chronicle.
As a three-star recruit Childs received several scholarship offers, including some from schools close to home. But he fell in love with the people and facilities at Oklahoma State and knew his style of play would transition well into the offensive system.
“Rennie was an under the radar guy, his recruitment didn’t really heat up until pretty late and that surprised me,” Thiebaud said. “Oklahoma State showed interest early and by the time other schools came around he was pretty much already decided. He stuck with the guys who wanted him from the start.”
Thiebaud called Childs a weapon with a good skillset that can really make an impact when given an opportunity. Since Oklahoma State utilizes a running back-by-committee approach, Childs shares touches with several athletes and doesn’t always get those opportunities. But he chooses to make the best of the carries he does get instead of dwelling on wanting more.
Last season, Childs rushed for 54 yards on a career-high 21 carries to help Oklahoma State beat Texas. He said it was a good team win and hopes for similar results on Saturday.
“That was great… we really rallied as a team and came out with a good win,” Childs said. “We’re going to go out like our head’s on fire and play our best and just play the way we know how to play.”
Being far from home hasn’t stopped Childs’ family and friends from supporting him. He said his family attends every game in Texas and makes the trip to Boone Pickens Stadium often. Thiebaud called it special to see his former star find success at the collegiate level, even if it is with an out-of-state team.
“I love to see Texas win, just maybe not this one,” Thiebaud chuckled. “It’s tremendous to watch Rennie play and that he’s going to graduate this spring. That’s the goal– to get kids to college whether they play or not and get that degree. He’s special.”