Two-thirds of the OU football team's Cali Trio is gone, with Kenny Stills and Tony Jefferson bolting from Norman for an early shot in the NFL.
But Brennan Clay remains, the last West Coast representative from that 2010 recruiting class, a senior running back who broke out late last season and is expected to play a large role in 2013.
As fall camp gets underway, Clay talked about the Cali Trio's departed duo, his personal expectations and more.
Q: Kenny Stills and Tony Jefferson are both gone. Do you feel deserted?
A: Not at all. I'm so excited for them, so proud of them. They're like my brothers man, and I wish Tony and Kenny the best. I talk to them three or four times a week, staying up with them, seeing how they're doing. They're both doing well. And being the last one here, I just got to finish it out.
What are they telling you about the NFL?
They're just saying it's fast-paced, everything is sped up. They're definitely enjoying it, excited for my season, as well. And they're excited, I was talking to Tony the other day, he said his first game is against Green Bay. And I'm just sitting there like, gosh, I can't wait to see them play on Sundays. So we all stay in the loop and share what each other is going through.
And how about Kenny, he's catching balls from Drew Brees now. What's he told you about that?
Yeah, I saw a few photos on Instagram the other day with (Kenny) right next to (Brees). And he said he's a great mentor and a great leader and that's what you need at quarterback, especially for the Saints and Drew Brees does a great job down there.
How about yourself? What are your personal expectations this season?
It's pretty high. I'm shooting for 1,000 (yards) this year, believe it or not. That's what my ultimate goal is. And we have to get this Big 12 and get this national championship. Whatever falls in between, falls in between.
You have a pair of tattoos on your forearms that read ‘Stay Humble' and ‘Stay Hungry'. What is the deeper meaning of those words?
“Stay humble, stay hungry” is our motto back home. That's just something we grew up and impressed into our lives. That's just the grind, being humble, first and foremost, glory to God and then “stay hungry” is just being on that field, doing all you can to be successful. I'm always hungry, can't lose that appetite, so to speak.
What changed for you during that Iowa State game last year, when you kind of broke out and then remained productive from that point?
I was really out there injury free. Had a lot of nicks and nacks my sophomore year, coming off that concussion. I was running a little bit timid second half of my freshman year. It wasn't the same, I just had to get that rhythm back. When you get injured, you lose reps, so once I got those reps going, I got into game mode in that college football lifestyle and let it come to me. I knew I was capable of it the whole time, so that's what I'm shooting for every game this year.
And how about the play that defines your OU career to this point? That powerful 18-yard game-winning TD run against OSU in overtime last season.
A lot of people are giving me praise for it. But that's what the O-line does, that's what we did the whole day, grind the ball out. Landry (Jones) did a great job that game, as well, I think he threw for 500 yards that game. You know, we broke their willpower and it just so happened to be me in that (game-winning) position, and I stepped up and made that play.
You guys have a real strong nonconference schedule this season. You pumped about that?
I think it's good. It's always good. I feel like the computers hate us, once it goes to that BCS bid. But I think strength of schedule will be good for us, especially with this team, it's going to be a challenge and I'm excited about it.