Finch, who started eight games with 196 carries, 1,003 yards and five touchdowns over his first two seasons, barely saw the field on offense last year, recording only seven carries for 62 yards.
Coaches often alluded to off-the-field and practices issues being the reasons behind the speedy back's lack of playing time in 2012, when he was used almost exclusively as a kick returner.
At Big 12 Media Days, Stoops said Finch did a good job working through the winter and spring, and believes he could play a bigger role as a senior.
“I'm not able to be with him through the summer, but some of the grade and academic up-checks have been pretty positive for him,” Stoops said. “That's a good thing. Hopefully that's the case. We really like Roy. Always have. He really is a spark. Hopefully that will happen.”
STOOPS ENCOURAGES FANS TO TWEET RECRUITS
Stoops isn't the most Twitter-savvy college football coach.
He has a Twitter account but keeps it locked down and uses it primarily to connect with recruits but doesn't use it to engage fans the way his brother, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin or others do.
“I don't have the personality those guys have,” Bob Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days.
But Stoops doesn't see social media interaction going away, even though fan interaction with recruits is technically an NCAA violation.
“In today's world, once things get rolling, it's not stopping,” he said.
He later said he didn't know how the NCAA could enforce that rule.
So Sooners fans should start contacting recruits through Twitter, the way Kentucky fans have done?
“I'm pretty sure that's what it means, yeah,” Stoops said. “Hear that OU fans? Get on board.”
IKARD IMPRESSED WITH FEO SO FAR
Ikard has been impressed with junior college transfer Tony Feo so far.
“He might be the strongest guy on our team,” Ikard said. “He's close if he's not. He's got a chance to be a special lineman, once (new offensive line) Coach (Bill) Bedenbaugh's able to work with him throughout camp, I think he could help us for sure.”
Feo was a late addition to the class, signing with the Sooners in early May, more than three months after signing day.
Stoops said he was a little surprised a player like Feo was available that late.
“Yes and no,” Stoops said. “It's amazing sometimes where guys all of a sudden finish up and you really like them.
“We're excited to have him with us.”
Feo (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) figures to be in contention for playing time somewhere on the offensive front.