As a senior, Oklahoma wide receiver Durron Neal seems like he has finally found his role and accepted it. Expected to be a huge playmaker, it hasn’t quite worked out that way for the native of St. Louis.
He has been steady, consistent, and last week got a chance to make one of those big plays OU fans thought would be so common during his time in Norman.
With West Virginia mounting its comeback, quarterback Baker Mayfield looked to Durron Neal for a huge 71-yard touchdown strike in the second half.
“Durron’s a guy who grinds it out,” offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “He never wants to take a rep off in practice. He never wants to let the young guys get in. You appreciate that about a senior.
“I’m a big believer that if you want to be a good football team, then those guys who are seniors have to play their best football.”
Neal has through the first third of the season. He is third on the team with 14 catches and third on the team with 260 yards. The touchdown was his first of the season, but what he has shown in the first four games might mean more than any touchdowns.
He has clearly been someone the Sooners have been able to count on to make a big grab this season, and he’s made those competitive catches.
No doubt this weekend will be an emotional one. His final OU-Texas game and seeing Jay Norvell on the other sideline will obviously bring out some emotion.
Neal’s relationship with Norvell goes well beyond football, but he knows for at least a few hours, he’ll push that to the side and go out and do what he needs to do.
What he’s done so far is great news for OU fans, but the best still feels like it’s yet to come.