2013 Oklahoma Football | Breakout Year For Brennan Clay?

Tom Pennington

Call it a bold prediction. Call it ludicrous. Call it insanity or whatever you may, but 2013 will mark the year of Brennan Clay!

For years now, Oklahoma Sooner fans have been waiting for the talented duo of freshmen running backs from 2010 to step up and realize their full potential. However, that reality has yet to come to fruition as Brennan Clay and Roy Finch have taken a backseat throughout their careers in the crimson and cream.

With DeMarco Murray completing his senior season in 2010, he left some lofty shoes to fill along with plenty of carries to go around. If memory serves me correctly, it was also during that season in which Bob Stoops was questioned as to why he had not redshirted an injured Roy Finch as of yet. His response continuously emitted a sense that Finch possessed a talent that simply could not be kept off the field.

In the eight games he played in as a freshman, Finch electrified fans with his balance and elusiveness to a point where many began to compare him to Quentin Griffin. Regardless of how the coaches touted him, it would be a surprise walk-on in Dominique Whaley getting all the attention the following year until an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Yet again, all eyes were back on the duo of Roy Finch and Brennan Clay to carry the rushing attack.

Heading into 2012, the Sooners inherited a JUCO talent who cracked the depth chart and eventually won over the starting job from the incumbent. With each year, a new talent has crept in to over take the potential and promise of the 2010 class. Where does that leave Roy Finch and Brennan Clay?

I cannot speak for Finch as the position carousel began sliding him over to slot receiver and back to running back, two positions in which he has seen limited time and snaps over the past season. But, Clay is an entirely different story.

Much of the anticipation has shifted to wondering what the offense will look like. Of course, many think the QB situation and plethora of RBs available leans toward a return of a run heavy offense. If we continue down this slope, it eventually leads to more carries for the rushing leaders in Damien Williams and Clay. While it is no secret that Williams finished the season with the starting job on lock, Clay should not be counted out.

Brennan Clay has progressively gotten better over the years. In 2012 he produced his best season to date with 511 yards on 83 carries for an average of 6.2 per carry, up from 3.7 the previous year. Now, a leader and senior on this squad, Clay will be counted on time and time again. However, it was in a single snap and a single moment that fans across the nation witnessed exactly who Clay can be.

To say that this kid had no help getting into the endzone would be spot on as he earned that run by breaking two would be tackles. One thing that was significantly lacking from watching Clay was confidence. After being welcomed into college football by Florida St.'s Nick Moody, it became clear that he was shaken up. Three years later, the confidence level has finally caught back up with his talent and currently poses a real threat for defenders. Combine those aspects with the offensive line that Oklahoma has together and he could have a breakout season as a senior.

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