“A very tough, spartan existence,” Norvell called it.
Davis said Metoyer adapted quickly and was never a problem.
“He adjusted to it really well, and he knew it was for the betterment of him,” Davis said. “He just took off and said, ‘Hey, I have to do what I have to do to get to Oklahoma.' He didn't let anything faze him.”
He may not have outwardly shown it, but Metoyer admitted being miserable early in his four-month stay.
“Man, forget it; I'm going home,” Metoyer remembers thinking a few times.
“But then I thought about my future, and getting back to Oklahoma.”
An ankle injury limited him to playing in about four Hargrave games, which are mostly against lower-division colleges' junior varsity teams.
Still, the Hargrave football regimen enhanced his toughness — Norvell recalled one of his visits to Chatham last year, when he came away stunned by the intensity of Hargrave's practices.
“They hit the sled for 25 minutes in practice, and then they ran about 30 sprints up the hill before they even stretched,” he said. “It's a hell of a place. They really try to make better men of these kids, teach them discipline. ... They really taught Trey some valuable lessons. He learned a lot about himself.”
In the classroom, Metoyer says he learned how to study because he was finally forced to.
“When I was back home, I really didn't study,” Metoyer said. “I didn't want to study because I didn't think I had the time. I had freedom, so I was going wherever, not studying.
“But when you're locked up in a room, and you have no choice but to study, it's a whole different thing. When I studied, I thought, ‘OK, if I had been doing this, I wouldn't have to be here.'”
After one semester of military life, Metoyer's grades improved and the NCAA Clearinghouse declared him eligible.
‘I feel like I owe them'
He enrolled at OU in January and did “extremely well,” his dad said, during his first college semester.
Coaches and teammates alike raved about Metoyer's performance during spring practices, even saying he hadn't dropped any passes at all.
Then in the Sooners' spring game, he caught six passes for 72 yards, building more excitement and expectations for what could become a breakout season.
Saturday, Metoyer felt a world removed from where he was at this time last year. His difficult path, full of its own hills, valleys and bee-stings, has guided him to Norman and a potentially stellar career as a Sooner.
He thinks back to the night when he was told he didn't qualify, and said Norvell's firm commitment to him is one of the things that helped get him through Hargrave.
“Trey wanted to be here, and we felt like, if he did the work, he deserved to be here,” Norvell said. “So far, he's done that. He's still a very young player. He's got a lot of learning to do before he reaches his potential, but he's off to the right start.”
Sooners coach Bob Stoops compared Metoyer's work ethic and passion for practice to that of OU legend Adrian Peterson. Some of that drive comes from a desire to give back to the coaches who remained loyal to him throughout his difficult path to Norman.
“They never gave up on me,” Metoyer said. “I've seen a whole lot of schools pull scholarships, or say, ‘He can't get qualified; we're done with him.' They could have went and found somebody else. But they stayed with me through a lot, and I feel like I owe them.”
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