NORMAN — Few players begin college football careers with the anticipation and expectations for immediate glory that greeted Trey Metoyer last August.
What followed over the past 15 months have been disappointment, frustration and head scratching about the former five-star prospect and why he couldn't seem to apply on Saturdays the unlimited potential he displayed in practice and scrimmages.
Was it academics? He needed a semester at military school before he could even enroll at Oklahoma. Was it a struggle to adapt to the college game? He nearly recorded a touchdown pass in his first career game at UTEP, when he caught a deep pass over a defender near the goal line, but his foot was out of bounds. Did he simply buckle under the tremendous pressure and lofty expectations?
This week, we learned of another potential problem, one much deeper and more devastating than football or school. Metoyer was charged Tuesday in Cleveland County with two felony counts of indecent exposure. According to a probable cause affidavit, Metoyer exposed himself to two different women on separate occasions.
Metoyer pleaded not guilty to both counts Wednesday, but his Oklahoma football career is almost certainly finished.
Coach Bob Stoops announced Metoyer's indefinite suspension Tuesday night, and said he doesn't expect Metoyer “will return to the team in the future,” likely ending a short stay in Norman for the player most considered a can't-miss superstar in waiting.
Metoyer committed to Oklahoma in March 2010, between his junior and senior seasons at Whitehouse (Texas) High. The big, fast wideout was considered one of his recruiting class' elite talents.
In a May 2010 interview with The Oklahoman, Metoyer said he'd been interested in LSU, but was discouraged by the way they used receiver Rueben Randle in his freshman season.
Randle, like Metoyer, was a five-star prospect, but caught only 11 passes his first year on campus in 2009.
“I don't know if he was overrated, but 11 passes, I need that in one game,” Metoyer said.
Metoyer signed with Oklahoma in February 2011, but couldn't improve his grades enough to qualify academically, forcing a season at Virginia's Hargrave Military Academy.
When he learned he hadn't qualified, Metoyer considered quitting football altogether, he said last August.
But he decided to fight through the semester, a decision that made his father swell with pride.
“That's when I saw my son, in all honestly, go straight from a boy to a man,” David Metoyer said in an August 2012 interview with The Oklahoman.
Trey Metoyer struggled through a difficult semester in military school, where he was forced to walk a half-mile every day to and from practice on a long, winding gravel path, on which he frequently suffered bee stings and spider bites.
He couldn't slack off with his studies at military school, and worked hard enough to qualify for OU after only a semester in Virginia.
Metoyer enrolled at OU in January 2012, and only a few months later, wowed fans with a monster performance in the Sooners' spring game.
He began the season as one of Oklahoma's starting wide receivers.
“They never gave up on me,” Metoyer said before the 2012 season. “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.”
Metoyer's career didn't get off to the start he or anyone else imagined, though. He was benched after only four games, and rarely played the rest of the season, finishing with only 17 catches, 148 yards and a touchdown.
Then last spring, Metoyer admitted that he “wasn't ready” for the big stage, but vowed to turn that negative into a positive, saying the freshman-year struggles made him a “better person.”
But through the first four games this season, Metoyer managed only two receptions for 18 yards and one touchdown.
On Oct. 3 — two days before the Sooners' home game against TCU — Metoyer admitted to police that he'd exposed himself to the two women in separate incidents on Aug. 29 and Sept. 17, saying it was “a mistake and he was not thinking clearly at the time,” according to the affidavit.
With his collegiate career effectively over, Metoyer would appear to have few football options moving forward. He would be eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft because of his year at Hargrave, but it would seem highly unlikely that any professional team would take a chance on him, pending the outcome to his legal problems.
“I told myself after I left Hargrave that I wasn't gonna have no more setbacks,” Metoyer said last spring. “That was it. Not playing last year kinda hurt me, but this year, you're gonna see a whole nother me.”