Last season was supposed to be the breakout season for Oklahoma running back Roy Finch. After starting seven games as a sophomore and producing well on the field, he was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection by the coaches.
He rushed for 605 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. He caught 34 balls for another 296 yards. Indeed the future looked bright.
But to say the 2012 season was a disappointment for Finch would be putting it mildly. Final numbers? No starts, seven carries for 62 yards and two catches for six yards. The lone bright spot was a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Kansas.
How did everything go from looking so good to being so bad?
"Last year it was a disappointing season for myself because I didn't play as well as I wanted to," Finch said. "Coaches were trying to put at slot [receiver], and I'm not a pure slot player.
"I'm an athlete. I can play slot, running back, kickoff return, punt return, whatever. Limiting me to just one position I feel like that's not me. I can play everything."
There have been questions about Finch. He hasn't always understood the blocking assignments, and the answer last year by the coaches about Finch's lack of playing time was consistent.
He wasn't going to get a chance to produce on Saturdays if he couldn't do all the right things the other six days of the week, both on and off the field.
On the field, there are few who equal Finch in terms of his explosiveness and ability to make a play and to make something out of nothing. Finch isn't shy about talking about that.
"I just feel like any time that I can get on the perimeter against any defense, I feel I'm going to do damage," Finch said. "I take pride in having one-on-one situations with corners, safeties, linebackers. That's what I love. That's what I thrive on."
But Finch isn't looking for any sympathy. He's not pointing the finger at any teammates or coaches. That finger is pointed directly at himself.
"Things that I've done are what's kept me off the field," Finch said. "I can't look at the coaches and say I don't trust them because it was me."
OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has talked about using Finch more this season and has said the coaches have noticed the change in attitude.
"A year ago Roy got caught a little bit because of our situation at wide receiver," Heupel said. "He bounced around a little bit between wideout and running back. For whatever reason he wasn't playing the way he was capable of at any of the positions.
"The way he's approached the offseason in the weight room, academically, in football practices and meetings, he has matured in a great way."
That maturity is being shown in the way Finch is carrying himself, on and off the field. That maturity is being shown in his words. He realizes he has one more season to show everybody what he's all about, and he's ready to make one last impression.
"I feel like I'm very happy with where I'm at today and ready for the season," Finch said. "I want to leave my mark on this university. I want to show everybody who the real Roy is."