NORMAN — Roy Finch longs for the days of being, well, Roy Finch. The Oklahoma sophomore running back hasn't felt like himself in quite awhile.
Not since August of last year, when Finch generated all kinds of buzz as a true freshman until suffering a stress fracture just over a week before the opener. Finch returned midseason and sparked the offense, but he missed the Fiesta Bowl game after re-aggravating the injury in December.
Now easing his way back on the field this spring, Finch is working to return to the runner that dazzled everyone last preseason.
“I haven't really been myself, really all the way to before I first hurt it leading up to the first game,” Finch said. “I was out there in two-a-days, out there cutting, just doing everything I wanted to do.
“It's been awhile since I personally felt that good.”
Playing on a bum wheel, Finch was still pretty special last season. In his debut, he rushed for 92 yards on 16 carries against Iowa State. He added 59 yards against Missouri and another 59 against Colorado in relief of starter DeMarco Murray.
Finch's shifty style was so effective, that then offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson installed the “backs” formation, which put Murray, Finch and fullback Trey Millard in the backfield at the same time. The formation led to three touchdowns in OU's first four possessions in the victory at Baylor.
Still, Finch confessed he never was the same player that was so elusive during two-a-days.
“During the season, when I was playing, it was still bothering me,” he said.
Just when he was coming close to feeling normal, Finch suffered a recurrence of the stress fracture — which was more serious — prompting team physicians to operate and insert pins into the foot.