By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
NORMAN — —
Trey Metoyer lived up to his recruiting hype (5-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com) in his first appearance in front of an University of Oklahoma football crowd Saturday at the Sooners’ spring game.
Metoyer, who spent last fall at a prep school (Hargrave Academy) while straightening out some academic issues, was the talk of the game with six catches for 72 yards.
“It’s been a good spring and a good experience,’’ Metoyer said. “Most of the older guys took me under their wings and have been teaching me just how to play. I have the raw talent, but I didn’t know the small things. It helped me a lot.’’
He showed that raw talent on an over-the-shoulder catch by the sideline early in the game.
“As they say, a good receiver goes gets it where it’s at,’’ Metoyer said. “I try to do that all the time. I felt the ball was over my head for a minute, but I went up and got it.’’
He is adjusting working with a scrambling quarterback such as sophomore backup Blake Bell where he mig-ht have to change his pa-ss route.
“When he (Bell) does that (scrambles), nine of 10 times, you’re going to get open,’’ Metoyer said. “He does a good job of moving aro-und. It’s our job to get open and move around. You just have to know what’s going on. I just try to follow him. I don’t know if it’s chemistry or whatever, but the receivers are doing a good job of coming off their routes and meeting the ball.’’
Metoyer felt good about his progress admist the high expectations.
“My main worry was coming up here and not performing like I was supposed to,’’ he said. “If you’re a player, you’re going to play. I just think of it as playing.’’
His first goal is to win a national championship. His second is to make plays expected out of him.
“I’m going to give it all that I’ve got,’’ Metoyer said. “Coach (offensive coordinator Josh) Heupel and coach (head coach Bob) Stoops have believed in me by giving me the ball. It’s my choice to make plays.’’
He said it felt good to perform in front of a big crowd for the first time since the U.S. Army All-American game in January of 2011.
“I was pleased with my performance, but you always could do better,’’ Metoyer said.
Metoyer doesn’t see himself as a rookie.
“My dad tells me, don’t play like a freshman,’’ he said. “If I mess up, I don’t use it as an excuse. I just like to be like everybody else. I just try to come here and perform. That’s all I want to do.’’
He said he’s trying to emulate veterans such as Jaz Reynolds and Kenny Stills. They have set the bar high for him.
“If I do something, Kenny will come up to me and say, ‘I’m expecting you to do this.’ Jaz will come up and tell me the same thing. When I first got here, I learned the small things that will get you open. I really didn’t know that. Them teaching me things like that will make it a lot easier for me.’’
He said in the off-season he will try to get faster and stronger.
“It’s just a matter of getting better at everything,’’ Metoyer said. “You can’t get too good.’’
Metoyer is “just a little different’’ from the other guys, said OU starting quarterback Landry Jon-es.
“He has good physicality to him,’’ Jones said. “He plays strong to the catch. When you have tight coverage, you can put it out there for him and he’s going to go up and make a jump ball out of it and make some good plays.’’
Stoops said the freshman had “incredible hands and the ability to make plays.’’
“He really relishes the moment,’’ Stoops said. “He’s a competitor for a young guy. He’s not a normal freshman, but he just got here. He needs to get faster and stronger and get more physical and have more discipline on his route running and get on the same page as Landry.’’
Metoyer, Heupel said, “has the talent to be a special player, but ultimately does things are determined by the way he approaches things. From January until now, he has shown those characteristics.’’
What he does in the off-season will determine how much of an impact he could make, Heupel said.
“If I was a betting man, I would say he will,’’ he said. “He did what we hoped he would do because he has practiced in that fashion for 14 practices. He is continuing to get a better understanding of our offense, the routes, the timing.’’
Heupel has been impressed by Metoyer’s confidence.
“He’s strong and he’s physical and he catches the football when it’s thrown in his direction,’’ Metoyer said. “I can’t remember him having a competitive play that he didn’t make. He can be one-on-one playmaker.’’
Metoyer caught 108 passes for 1,540 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior at Whitehouse, Texas in 2010. Metoyer and the Sooners will begin the 2012 season at Texas-El Paso. The home opener will be Sept. 8 against Florida A&M.