NORMAN — Most would have predicted his only touchdown catch, a 61-yarder against Miami in 2007. Others might have said it was a key third-down catch, or a difficult reception in workouts to spare the offense some post-practice conditioning. Or, it could’ve been signing his letter of intent to play for Oklahoma in 2006 as the list-topper.
When senior receiver Adron Tennell thinks back on his three seasons at OU, the moment that sticks out most came during a routine one-on-one drill in practice. Matched up against cornerback Jonathan Nelson, Tennell ran a double move, breaking open for a pass from then-freshman quarterback Sam Bradford.
Bradford, before "Heisman Trophy winner” became permanently affixed to the front of his name, overthrew. The misfire led Tennell toward some construction on the edge of the practice field.
"I was going to get it, looked up and I ran into a fence,” Tennell said. "That was my best moment ever.”
Tennell came to Oklahoma as one of the top receiving prospects in the country, ranked No. 3 by the recruiting site Rivals.com and No. 5 by ESPN. It doesn’t take much to see why. Tennell is 6-foot-4 and ran a 4.43 40-yard dash in high school, a rare combination of size and speed only elite receivers possess. But through three seasons with the Sooners, he’s caught just 16 passes for 208 yards and has as many torn ACLs as he does touchdowns.
"I think he’s real frustrated,” said OU receivers coach Jay Norvell. "I think he would have liked to have seen things go differently, but you know, all you need is one great year.”
Tennell tore his ACL in a loss at Texas Tech in 2007, costing himself the remainder of the season and the following spring’s practices. He returned in 2008, but failed to make a consistent impact with Manuel Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias ahead of him on the depth chart.