Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 11/6/11
Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, one of college football's most prolific receivers, saw his career cut short Saturday when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The season-ending injury to Broyles' left knee is a blow to Oklahoma's hopes of getting back into national title contention. It also throws some doubt into Broyles' status for next spring's NFL Draft. Broyles suffered the injury during a 41-25 win over Texas A&M in Norman, Okla. Broyles was spinning out of a tackle in the third quarter when he planted his left leg to change direction. The knee buckled slightly and Broyles had to be helped off the field. He was later seen in tears on the sideline. "We're all disappointed for Ryan, for sure," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "He's a special, special player that everyone's talked about all year. For that to happen is deflating for him, for all of us." Broyles had been considered a top draft prospect, but the injury will likely cause his draft value to drop, at least for the time being. The extensive rehabilitation process needed to get the knee ready for football again might impact his ability to prepare for the draft. If he is limited in pre-draft workouts, or cannot participate at all, teams will have to assess the risk of taking him with a high pick. Broyles had already achieved a remarkable college resume. Earlier this season, he broke the NCAA record for career receptions. He has amassed 349 catches. He was on his way to the NCAA record for career receiving yards but will finish at No. 2 with 4,586. Nevada's Trevor Insley (1996-99) holds the record with 5,005 yards. This is the second week in a row Oklahoma has lost a key offensive starter. Last week, leading rusher Dominique Whaley went down with a broken ankle on the first play against Kansas State. The Sooners are 8-1 and still have a possibility of playing for the national championship. They will meet undefeated Oklahoma State in a Big 12 showdown at the end of the regular season. Oklahoma State entered the weekend at No. 3 in the BCS standings and will probably move up a spot with No. 2 Alabama's loss to No.1 LSU. Oklahoma has other playmaking receivers, such as Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds, who can fill some of the void created by Broyles' injury. But as Stoops said, Broyles was a special player who came up with the biggest plays at the most critical times and had the full trust of quarterback Landry Jones. "He is our impact player," defensive end Ronnell Lewis said. "I can't put into words how it will affect the team, but we are going to bounce back. There are going to be shoes to fill, but we have guys that are playmakers who can step up and fill those shoes." Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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