Oklahoma Sooners 2013 Outlook: Roy Finch

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Nov 10, 2012; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Roy Finch (22) runs the ball in the second half of the game against the Baylor Bears at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Sooners won 42 – 34. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Roy Finch was supposed to be a star in the Oklahoma Sooners’ offense when he took over the starting running back role from DeMarco Murray. However, he stalled and stumbled and ended up losing his starting job to a transfer walk on student named Dominique Whaley. Even in 2012, when Whaley lost out on the starting job, and the Sooners were forced to make so with a rotating backfield, Finch couldn’t get on the field.

Finch was lazy, unprepared, uninspired, and had a lack of maturity.

Those were all terms used to describe Roy Finch through the 2012 season as he was removed from the backfield, moved to a receiver role, and then removed from that as well. He eventually even lost his special teams role and ended up sitting on the bench for almost the entire 2012 season.

This was the man who was supposed to be the next big Sooners’ running back star.

Now, as he enters his senior season, Roy Finch wonders what his role will be in Oklahoma this season. Honestly, he has already thrown away his football career, especially if all the talk of his laziness is the reason for his lost opportunities. Even if he turns things around in 2013, he has fallen so far down the depth chart that he won’t make an NFL team as anything more than a walk-on free agent.

However, that is not what matters this year to Oklahoma Sooners’ fans. The question in 2013 is what Roy Finch can do for the Sooners in his final year on campus. Josh Heupel has already talked about how important it is for the Sooners to utilize their deep running back depth, mentioning names like speedy Damien Williams, sturdy Brennan Clay, bull-like Trey Millard and, yes, even the forgotten man, Roy Finch.

“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,” Heupel said. “All those guys need touches because they’ve played effectively.”

In his freshman season, Finch ran for 398 yards and two touchdowns while playing behind DeMarco Murray. In 2011, he started seven games and finished the year with 605 yards and three touchdowns before losing his job to Whaley. In 2012, he only got seven carries and finished the year with 62 rushing yards. He also dropped from 34 receptions in 2011 for 296 yards to two receptions for six yards in 2012.

With that loss of confidence by the coaching staff, will he get a chance in 2013?

“For whatever reason, I don’t think he was playing the way he’s capable of at any of the positions,” Heupel said of Finch’s 2012 performance. However, he seems to see a change in the running back this year.

“His maturity, the way he’s approached the offseason, in the weight room, academically, at practice, meetings, he’s been tremendous. He’s been mature in a great way,” Heupel said. “Because of that I feel like he’s going to have a great year.”