Senior wide receiver Jalen Saunders said he treats sophomore Trey Metoyer “like my younger brother,” and made sure to keep him motivated throughout what was a tough freshman season.
Fans, coaches and teammates all believed Metoyer was destined for big things as a true freshman in 2012, but the college game didn't come to him as quickly as he or anyone else expected.
“Trey, he's really matured throughout the spring,” Saunders said. “Last fall, he was starting and kind of faded away from the offense. It hurt him a little because he expected a lot of things. Throughout the spring, me and him sat down and talked a lot.”
Metoyer suffered an ankle injury during practice last week and is walking on crutches, according to a source close to the program, although the injury isn't thought to be very serious.
Saunders played his first two college seasons at Fresno State, and said he leaned heavily on former Bulldogs wide receiver Jamel Hamler for guidance as an underclassman.
“Everybody needs an older person to get in their ear,” Saunders said. “Of course you're going to listen to your coach, but you can only listen so much. If you hear from another guy, who's a little bit older than you, who's been through the same situation, it's a different feeling you get.”
JOHNSON READY TO PLAY
Sophomore cornerback Cortez Johnson sat out all of last season after transferring from Arizona, and said he's ready to finally get back in the game action.
“It's real exciting,” Johnson said. “I finally get my chance to touch the field again. I've got a great feel for it. I can't wait until Aug. 31 and just to bust it wide open.”
As a true freshman for the Wildcats, Johnson started two games and recorded 16 tackles.
Mike Stoops' eight-year run as Arizona's head coach ended with his firing in the middle of that season, after which Tim Kish took over as interim coach. Both joined the Oklahoma staff in January 2012.
“Every game I was like, ‘I can't wait till I can help my team out,'” Johnson said. “I was usually kind of down because I wasn't out there. But I'm here now. It's almost game time.”
Johnson is currently expected to start opposite senior cornerback Aaron Colvin.
Senior running back Brennan Clay on the lower-than-normal expectations surrounding Oklahoma this preseason:
“A lot of people are thinking 16 is pretty high, which it is. We're not used to that; we're not accustomed to it. We've always been in the top five, the top three and had an easy path to the No. 1. We've always had a bull's-eye on our back because of that.
“I think it's good that we're out of the radar. We have smooth sailing right now.”