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Running back Roy Finch is Sooners' little giant

OU FOOTBALL — He may only be 5-foot-7, but Roy Finch is having a big impact for the Sooners since Dom Whaley went down with an ankle injury.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: November 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm •  Published: November 23, 2011

Roy Finch is a little guy in a big-man's sport.

He even acknowledges it.

Ask many an undersized athlete about being vertically challenged, and they'll look at you like you've inquired about a third arm. What do you mean? Short? Are you serious?

But even though Finch is only 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, the Oklahoma running back is a stand-up guy about his stature.

“I can't change how God has made me, my frame and my height,” he said. “But the things that he's given me, I'm very grateful for. The things that he's given me, I work very hard at (developing).”

The dividends are obvious. Even though he's the Sooners' smallest offensive starter by nearly half a foot, Finch has been big since Dom Whaley went down with a season-ending ankle injury. He has rushed for 418 yards in the past five games, nearly surpassing the 100-yard plateau each of the past three games, and he has a chance to wind up being OU's leading rusher despite playing very sparingly the first half of the season.

Playing this week against an Iowa State defense that allowed only 60 yards rushing against Oklahoma State last week, Finch will need to be bigger than ever.

So, what's it like for a short-and-small tailback in a big-and-tall world?

“I don't really feel like it's different,” Finch said of his college football experience. “Other people might feel like it's different. But I just do what I can.”

What he can do is fun to watch.

Finch spins and swivels, whirls and twirls. Where Whaley was a straight-ahead, knock-you-on-your-tookus runner, Finch is more of a catch-me-if-you-can tailback.

It's one way he uses his size and his stature to his advantage.

“I just try to keep my legs churning,” he said. “Coach emphasizes at practice to get yards after contact and not go down with the first guy. I just try to do that.”

Finch wants to explode through defenders, not let them explode through him.

Sounds serious, right?

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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