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Oklahoma football: How Brennan Clay is making hard work and patience pay off

The Sooners' running back credits an old friend with success against Iowa State. The same thing could happen Saturday.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Staff Writer Published: November 7, 2012

Clay brought along Toby from his playing days at Scripps Ranch High School, where teammates first gave him the nickname.

“I miss them Toby days,” Clay said. “He's a playmaker. He's a baller. He does it all. He wants to be a motivator on the field. He likes to do everything.”

Maybe it's Toby who has helped the Cali Trio commit approximately 17 recruits compared to three who have turned them down.

Maybe Toby is the lovey- dovey part of Clay that Stills said will “put his arm around you and tell you he'll take care of you.”

Or maybe Clay's alter ego is the reason for his patience on the sideline, waiting for his time to shine. Whatever the case, OU coach Bob Stoops seemed to like the idea of what Toby does on the football field — once he realized Toby even existed.

“Why don't you tell me about it?” Stoops said

Once Stoops heard the story of Clay's “alter ego” and how he credits Toby for big plays — “Well,” Stoops said. “Hope Toby shows up this week.”


Cale Gundy recruits kids to play for a team championship, not individual accolades. That means finding the best of the best, which will mean that not all the best can start on Saturday.

“You get to college and everybody expects to come out here and start and be a superstar, but that's not how it is,” Stills said. “Some people have to come in and work a little bit harder than others.”

That's another definition of Brennan Clay: Hard worker.

Gundy knew last Saturday he could count on Clay, because, he said, Clay carries all “the little things: preparation, attitude and work ethic.” He knows the 71 offensive snaps that Clay participated in were more than double what he's ever seen. Gundy said Clay has averaged about 30. But just because Iowa State was only Clay's eighth start as a Sooner doesn't mean that he's not capable of producing.

“This is the University of Oklahoma. There's not a lot of people that come in here and play four years,” Gundy said. “Every year. we recruit good running back. I think the big misconception is if you don't come in here and be a three-year, four-year starter, then you haven't had a great career.

“That's not true. You can come here and be a one-, two-year starter and maybe play three years and play on some special teams, you've had a pretty good career at the University of Oklahoma.”

Now it's up to Gundy and Stoops again as to who has a chance to shine against Baylor.

Stoops said he still isn't sure whether Williams will play. During the Iowa State game, Williams limped while trying to slow himself during a run. Although he has been practicing, Williams might not play against the Bears. If Williams can't play, then Clay will most likely get the starting nod.

It doesn't matter that Clay doesn't know yet. He's never checked out, he said. Toby wouldn't like that.


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