Josh Heupel Breaks Down Oklahoma Sooners Running Backs

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Oct 13, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running backs Trey Millard (33) leaps over Texas Longhorns safety Adrian Phillips (17) during the red river rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Heupel is excited about the 2013 Oklahoma Sooners running backs that he has to work with. He went as far as to call himself fortunate to have names like Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch to call upon in the Sooners’ running game, and that doesn’t even account for Trey Millard, a true wild-card for the Sooners’ football season.

"“I think we’re fortunate,” Heupel said. “We have four guys that carry the ball, have taken good care of the ball for the most part, been highly efficient and effective and have had explosive plays.“All those guys need touches because they’ve played effectively. They’re experienced. They have played explosively, create big plays for us. Is there a guy that may end up carrying it 20-25 times a game? Might be. It’s how those guys separate themselves during fall camp and throughout the season.”"

The thing that Oklahoma has to hope is that at least one or two of them break out from the pack for the 2013 season.

Damien Williams

In 2012, many fans expected to see 2011 sleeper sensation Dominique Whaley break back out again, but he never recovered from an injury to his knee and wasn’t the same player as he was in his first season at OU. Luckily, the Sooners had a newcomer in Damien Williams to step into his place in the Oklahoma Sooners running backs ranks.

Unfortunately, he was hit or miss throughout the season, showing signs of blazing speed and then disappearing at other times in the season. He started nine games, while playing in all 13, and finished with 946 yards and 11 touchdowns. That was only good enough for seventh place in the Big 12 for rushing yards.

Brennan Clay

Oklahoma Sooners running backs fled the program when Whaley heated up in 2011, not realizing that they could have been starters in 2012 when he cooled down. However, one player who did stay was Brennan Clay, someone who was at one time one of the Sooners’ most prized recruits.

The senior running back has started seven of the 32 games he has played in over three years with Oklahoma. The former five-star recruit now comes into the 2013 season hoping to make a difference after finishing 2012 with 511 yards rushing and seven scores.

Roy Finch

The forgotten man for the Oklahoma Sooners running backs is Roy Finch, the player who was supposed to take over the starting role when DeMarco Murray graduated. However, Finch proved to lack the work rate needed to take over that spot and he lost it and found himself falling down the depth chart.

After running for 605 yards in 2011, he saw almost no playing time in 2012, with only seven rushes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Coaches say he is working harder than ever and he has to hope that he has proven himself worthy of a little more playing time in 2013.

Trey Millard

Last, but not least, is fullback Trey Millard. He doesn’t get the recognition he should because he is a fullback, but he is old-school and is one of the strongest, most tenacious runners on the entire Sooners’ football team. He is also a fan favorite thanks in part to his hurdle move that he said he perfected in high school where he actually leaps over tacklers without slowing down.

In his three years at Oklahoma as a fullback, Millard has 81 rushes for 198 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, while catching 59 receptions for 599 yards and six touchdowns through the air. Heupel promises the fans will see a lot of Millard this year as a key member of the Oklahoma Sooners running backs.