The score was 31-13 with just over three minutes left in last year’s College Football Playoff Semi-Final between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Alabama Crimson Tide, when one of the most dazzling plays of the 2018 college football season occurred.
Heisman trophy winner Kyler Murray stepped up in the pocket and threw an absolute dime from 49 yards out to hit a young sophomore receiver by the name of Charleston Rambo in stride for the touchdown.
At that moment, all Oklahoma fans thought three things: 1) Wow, maybe OU actually has a chance in this game, 2) Kyler Murray is absolutely insane, and 3) This Rambo kid could be something special.
They were correct on two of the three.
Oklahoma’s Receiving Corp
The Oklahoma receiving corp this year is one that is very interesting. It features a top of the line, Biletnikoff award-level talent in CeeDee Lamb, a very solid tight end in Grant Calcaterra, and then a bunch of talented but unproven guys after that.
It is an extremely deep group, but most people were a little unsure of who would be the ones to emerge as Jalen Hurts more go-to targets.
Charleston Rambo was the most obvious choice, despite only having eight career catches entering this season.
It felt like that one sparkling play in the Orange Bowl really put Rambo on the map, and completely changed the complexion of his Sooner career.
Early on in 2019, it seems like Rambo is living up to the billing of being the #2 receiver after CeeDee Lamb.
Charleston Rambo went to Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas. In his senior season, he caught 87 passes for over 1,500 yards and a ridiculous 25 touchdowns.
A 4-Star recruit, Rambo received numerous offers from power five programs such as Arkansas, Miami, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Washington, and of course, Texas.
But, in March of 2016, Rambo signed on with Lincoln Riley (who was offensive coordinator at the time) and the Oklahoma Sooners.
After redshirting the 2017 season, Rambo appeared in five games last year, catching eight passes for 125 yards including the big touchdown in the Orange Bowl.
Now a redshirt sophomore, it seems Rambo is ready to emerge as one of the top receiving targets for Oklahoma this season and in the years ahead.
What This Season Could be for Rambo
CeeDee Lamb is the guy, we know that. But Charleston Rambo is ready to be big time this season.
He had one of the best plays in Oklahoma’s week one win over Houston when Jalen Hurts connected with him for a 56-yard touchdown to open the second half.
He followed that up with a touchdown that he made look easy with his speed against South Dakota, joining him with CeeDee Lamb and Jeremiah Hall as the only other players with multiple receiving touchdowns in the first two weeks.
Rambo is also currently second on the team in receiving yards, and that probably isn’t going to change any time soon. His speed and athleticism make him a big play threat on every single snap, as he is averaging 22.5 yards per reception through the first two games.
Anytime Hurts can get the ball to Rambo in space, it has the chance to be a really big play. In a way, he is the perfect compliment to CeeDee Lamb very similarly to how Marquise Brown was a season ago.
They’re a great 1-2 punch, and they together will cause secondaries headaches all season long.
What Rambo Could be in the Years Ahead
It seems like every single season Oklahoma has that clear-cut, #1 receiver.
Mark Clayton, Malcolm Kelly, Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills, Jalen Saunders, Sterling Shepard, Dede Westbrook, Marquise Brown, and now…CeeDee Lamb. It is like there is a passing of the torch from year-to-year.
Brown undoubtedly passed that torch to Lamb, and Lamb is now in position to pass it to Rambo after this season. He is in prime position to be the #1 target for either Tanner Mordecai or Spencer Rattler next year.
The amount of young receiving talent on the team for the years ahead is plentiful with Jadon Haselwood, Trejan Bridges, Theo Wease, and beast tight end Austin Stogner. But, Rambo could be the perfect bridge man while those guys mature more and develop.
Next season, the Oklahoma offense will have to rely on young receivers, but if Rambo can be the true #1 that would be so extremely helpful to either Mordecai or Rattler. Rambo can be the perfect consistent playmaker to go alongside Lamb and then take the reigns in 2020.
So far in this young season, he has made big plays and has looked the part. Not to mention the fact that Grant Calcaterra is off to a bit of a slow start in 2019, and has made a bit of a habit of disappearing in games suddenly and then going off in others. Oklahoma could really use Rambo’s consistent production.
Bottom line, Charleston Rambo is primed and ready to be the next great Oklahoma reciever. Both this season, and next.
We’ll have to see if Rambo can make his case as the #2 even more this Saturday night as Oklahoma goes on the road to face the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California at 7:00 on FOX.