OU football notebook: Brennan Clay staying at OU

By Travis Haney and Mike Baldwin, Staff Writers Published: December 20, 2011

Oklahoma sophomore running back Brennan Clay said he's never contemplated transferring.

“I have no idea where that came from,” Clay said after Tuesday's practice. “They make that up every year. I remember I came in as a freshman and they said I was transferring. ... That's not true at all.”

Clay added: “People always have something to say. They want to put you down or speculate. It is what it is. It's not true. ... I'm not worried about it.”

CALI TRIO STEPS UP

Known as the Cali trio, safety Tony Jefferson, wide receiver Kenny Stills and Clay sometimes are singled out because of their unique story.

But give them credit. All three San Diego-area players showed up for the one and only pre-bowl game press conference Tuesday after practice when several other players weren't available.

“I know what type of heart I play with. I know the character I have and the person I am,” Stills said. “They can question everything they want to, but I know how I feel inside and the people close to me know that, too.”

The Cali trio faced the tough questions ranging from teammates transferring to a substandard 9-3 season, capped by a lopsided Bedlam loss.

Do they feel they get singled out?

“A little bit,” Clay said. “It's crazy. People like to pick at us. They know we came here trying to make plays. It's something different. They're not used to that. I guess we attract a lot of attention. ... We're three young men still learning the ropes. We're going to take that leadership role to another level, keep this Sooner train going.”

HURST WILL RETURN NEXT SEASON

Junior cornerback Demontre Hurst isn't concerned what round he might be selected if he declared for the NFL Draft.

“I want to get better as a player, try and help myself,” Hurst said. “I want to be a leader, also within this secondary and defense. It's another chance to play with these young guys and get back on that winning football track. So yeah, I'm definitely going to be back next year.”

ONLY TWO RUNNING BACKS

Because of injuries and freshman Brandon Williams transferring, sophomore Roy Finch and Clay are the only two running backs left to play in the Insight Bowl.

Clay was the starter the first three games but has been limited to 66 carries for 230 yards. Hampered by a pinched nerve in his neck, Clay hopes to build some momentum heading into the spring.

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