Freshman Fullback Comes of Age

OU head coach Bob Stoops entered the Kerr-McGee Stadium Club Tuesday morning to see reporters surrounding freshman fullback Trey Millard.

"A fullback's getting this much attention?" Stoops joked before taking the podium and making another comment during his weekly presser. "I saw Trey was getting a bunch of attention earlier. Fullbacks don't get that much attention, do they?"

He does.

And the fact of the matter is the 6-foot-2, 246 lb. freshman fullback deserves this kind of attention.

Millard has moved into a starting position and has excelled in his first two outings as a Sooner against Utah State and Florida State.

"In two games, Trey Millard has not looked like a freshman," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "He looks like a guy who's been here for a couple years the way he plays."

Stoops attributes much of that to his maturity level.

"I know I've been bragging about him a lot, and the guy is just mature beyond his years and how he handles himself, mature beyond his years physically, everything," Stoops said. "You know, he's just a really powerful player and talented guy."

And he's a talented guy with good technique who is quickly making the transition from running back--he had 219 carries for 1,413 yards and 17 touchdowns last year in high school--to a blocker at fullback.

"It's been a big adjustment," Millard said. "But I've had time through two-a-days and camp and everything to work on my blocking and letting [DeMarco Murray] run for 1,000-plus this season."

It's not to say OU can't use him in the rushing attack.

"You know, you get a guy that has that kind of size to him, and he's got light feet and great hands," Stoops said. "So, we're excited about Trey, and you guys know who have watched us in the different ways we try and run the football, we love guys like that and play them a lot."

Millard certainly bolsters their arsenal.

"Trey's going to provide a lot of different options and give us some versatility, you know, as he continues to mature," Stoops said.

Now, the fact that he's playing and making the Sooners more versatile as a true freshman says something in itself, but consider he's starting and that's at a whole new level.

"I've been living the dream," Millard said. "You know, to start as a true freshman at the University of Oklahoma is every high schooler's wish for [college football]. I mean, this is the school that I wanted to come to. It's like my dream school, and I'm just living the dream."

Like most freshmen, he admits the pace of the game is the biggest difference between high school and college, but something else has been challenging as well.

"The speed and for me, in particular, would be the blocking because I didn't do it as much in high school," Millard said. "The fullback blocking is a lot different than anything from what I've done really that much in high school. So, just the blocking and then overall speed of the game is so much faster than high school obviously."

But he's progressing in that phase of his game.

"I think I'm getting there," Millard said. "I can still be better. You can always be better, and [I'll] just continue to work on it and just try as best as I can."

One thing's for sure: Millard's become an important part of the Sooner offense.

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