Trey Millard, Corey Nelson Named Oklahoma Sooners Captains


Jul 23, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners (from left) center Gabe Ikard and fullback Trey Millard and head coach Bob Stoops and cornerback Aaron Colvin pose for a portrait during the Big 12 media days at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners captains for the 2013 college football season are linebacker Corey Nelson and Trey Millard. It is interesting to see the two names, both superstars when they are on the field, but also two men who didn’t play a giant role in a lot of the Sooners’ gameplay in 2012.

That is not to say they weren’t impressive when they were in the game, but the fact is that Trey Millard is fullback who ranked fifth on the team in rushing and Corey Nelson is a linebacker who ranked sixth on the team in tackles.

Millard not only ranked behind three other running backs for rushing yards, but also behind Blake Bell. He also ranked sixth in receptions behind starting running back Damien Williams. All season, coaches talked about getting him more involved in the offense, and with a high 6.0 yards per carry, maybe he should have been.

In 2013, the coaches are talking about getting him more involved again, but that backfield is deep and there are only so many balls to go around. However, one thing that Millard has is heart and this is his senior season, his last chance to prove on the field that he can move on to the next step and play in the NFL.

He is also a fan favorite. While fans love the Belldozer, they get just as loud when Millard uses his patented hurdle move, where he leaps over defenders, without slowing down, and just keeps trucking down the field. He has done it since high school and it is proof that Millard will do anything to pick up more yards. In 2013, he scored four touchdowns, all on dump passes, and there has to be a way to get him involved in that again this season.

As for Corey Nelson, he is the latest star at the school known as Linebacker U. However, in 2012, the linebackers were part of the problem and looked nothing like the unit that once heralded stars like Rocky Calmus, Terrence Marshall, Teddy Lehman and Brian Bosworth.

In 2012, Nelson finished the season with 47 tackles, 23 solo, and one sack. The departed Tom Wort outplayed him, with 53 tackles and two sacks. Those are not the dominating numbers fans are used to from OU linebackers. The fact that the three best tacklers on the team were two cornerbacks and a safety proves that the Sooners let too many big plays get by their middle defense.

Nelson said he hopes that 2013 will be different.

“It still fuels me because we didn’t really have linebackers out there to take hold of the situation,” Nelson told the Oklahoman. “If the defense is going to be good this year, it’s going to be because of the linebackers. If the defense is going to be bad this year, it’s going to be because of the linebackers.”

The Oklahoma Sooners open the season on Saturday night against Louisiana-Monroe.

Follow Shawn S. Lealos on Twitter @sslealos.