NORMAN — After winning the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award in February, Sam Bradford was asked which teammate impressed him most during Oklahoma’s winter workouts.
"There are so many guys,” Bradford replied, "but I’d have to say Ryan Broyles.” By all accounts, Broyles is having an equally impressive spring, which is why the rising sophomore seems primed for a big season as the leader of the receiving corps. "With me being the one with the most experience, I feel it’s my job to step up and be a leader,” said Broyles, who set several OU freshman receiving records last season. "A leader leads by example and is accountable. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do.” Broyles has come quite a ways since arriving on campus. After being suspended the entire year in 2007 for stealing gas, he was also suspended for the 2008 opener for an undisclosed reason. But ever since he stepped on the field against Cincinnati last season, Broyles has thrived, on and off the field. In his debut at the slot position, Broyles caught seven passes for 141 yards, setting an OU single-game record for receiving yards by a freshman. He finished the year with 687 receiving yards, the most ever by a Sooner freshman, and tied the school record for catches by a freshman. This spring, Broyles has worked almost exclusively at wide receiver, instead of the slot, so he’ll be able to play both positions fluently in the fall. "I just don’t think Broyles can come off the field like he did last year because he’s one of our most dynamic guys,” said wide receivers coach Jay Norvell. "He’s got to play outside for us, so if we have two running backs on the field, he won’t be on the sidelines.” Playing on the outside will give Broyles more opportunities downfield in single coverage, which he is sure to see often next season with defenses likely to concentrate on stuffing OU’s running backs and containing tight end Jermaine Gresham.
MORE FROM NEWSOK
OU Spring Game
→When: 1:15 p.m. Saturday →Where: Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman →Tickets: $10 at the OU ticket office