NORMAN — Five-star wide receiver Trey Metoyer was the star of Oklahoma's 2011 signing class.
Then came the disappointment of having to spend a season at Hargrave Military Academy.
Metoyer was then the star of the 2012 signing class and the spring game that year after enrolling early.
He caught six passes for 72 yards in that game and looked like the receiver most likely to take over the top receiver spot occupied previously by Ryan Broyles.
But more disappointment followed, some self-inflicted and some not.
As a freshman last season, Metoyer struggled to find a place in the Sooners offense as Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders were added to the team late and both became big-time targets for Landry Jones.
With that history, it's no surprise that Sooners co-offensive coordinator and wide receiver coach Jay Norvell is careful in describing Metoyer's progress, even after an even better spring game this season.
“I've seen a real change in him,” Norvell said Saturday before reeling things in. “We're always cautious to say a guy is ready to go. We don't know until we start playing games.”
“I see a different maturity in him. I see a different focus in him. He's been rolling off the ball the last three days. When a player really starts playing with confidence on a consistent basis, that's when you really gain trust in him. It's really obvious around here that we're trying to gain trust in him. He's one of the guys who hasn't been consistent yet.”
Metoyer caught 10 passes in his first four games, all starts, last season.
Then Saunders was ruled eligible and Metoyer was bumped from the starting lineup and caught just seven passes the rest of the way.
Metoyer said in the spring that the expectations put on him didn't affect his play. Norvell said it was more about mounting frustrations at going from being a star in high school and in prep school to finding his way during his first season of college football.
“I don't know so much if it was expectations more than the fact success wasn't coming to him the way that he wanted to,” Norvell said. “He was frustrated. He's used to playing well at a high level — most of our players are.
“It's understandable. He gets another chance and he should be a much better player for us.
With Brown and Kenny Stills gone, there should be room for Metoyer to play a key role this year.
While Stills had 61 catches as a freshman, most receivers take time to develop once they reach college, Norvell said.
Broyles needed a redshirt year before he started putting up record-setting numbers.
“There are so many moving parts to being a receiver and you have to be able to put it all together mentally and conceptually,” Norvell said. “I think it's coming together for Trey. He understands our offense. I think he's been around our players and our quarterbacks.
“He's getting to the point where he's more confident in what he's doing. That has to translate into being a guy that can do it every day and a guy we can count on.”