NORMAN — Brennan Clay feels good this spring, in every sense of the word.
The senior running back is healthy and confident. He's also relieved, the result of strong performances late last year after the rough two-and-a-half-season start to his college career.
In the Sooners' Nov. 3 win at Iowa State, Clay rushed for a career-high 157 yards on 24 carries. A few weeks later, his 25-yard touchdown run in overtime sealed Oklahoma's thrilling 51-48 Bedlam win.
But Clay insisted he isn't resting on — or even really thinking about — his laurels.
“Personally, I don't really think of it much,” Clay said. “I'm expecting myself to make plays like that all the time next year, and it's not just one game. It's being able to be consistent throughout the whole year.”
In an early-season win over Florida State during Clay's freshman year, he sustained a violent hit that sent him to the hospital, caused a concussion and sidelined him for a month.
Entering his sophomore season, Clay found himself in the thick of a six-person race to be Oklahoma's starting running back. He started six games that year, rushing for 230 yards and a touchdown, but struggled the entire year with a painful stinger in his neck and saw his playing time decrease as the season progressed.
Even so, of the six backs fighting for touches in the 2011 preseason, Clay and fellow senior Roy Finch — whose role in the backfield decreased dramatically last season — are the only two still with the Sooners.
Three others — Jermie Calhoun, Jonathan Miller and Brandon Williams — left the program early, and Dominique Whaley's eligibility ran out.