It is not surprising that OU redshirt freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar is looking to freshman wide receiver Malcolm Kelly so much when you consider the two have been working together since the first day that Kelly showed up on campus.
On Saturday against Nebraska, Kelly hauled in eight passes for 86 yards making another spectacular catch in the process. Is he becoming Rhett's go-to receiver? Well, Rhett may never admit to that, but he does admit that he likes to throw to him.
"Malcolm worked so hard with us this summer and he was always one of the last players to leave," said Bomar following the Sooners' 31-24 win over Nebraska. "What happens is if there are any wide receivers left after seven-on-seven drills are over, I will keep throwing to them and Malcolm was always there at the end of practice.
"So, I got a lot of work with him in the summer. He got that little setback (pulled hamstring) in two-a-days and that set us back a little bit, but once he got healthy we had a great working instinct together. I just seem to know his cuts and where he needs the ball."
"Malcolm is a great talent, as you have been able to see," Bomar continued. "He has saved me a couple of times with his great hands. There are times a quarterback has to put the ball where his receiver can catch the ball, but where the defender can't make a play on it, and Malcolm always comes up with those. He always comes up with my bad throws. I think his great hands have suprised some folks, but not anybody on our team. We watch Malcolm make those catches all the time."
Kelly was one of the first wide receivers recruited a year ago by wide receiver coach Darrell Wyatt, and so far it appears and his evaluation of Kelly is right on the money.
"I knew the first time I saw him that Malcolm had all the tools to be a great wide receiver," said Wyatt. "He is big, strong and fast and despite playing in a great rushing offense he was always making two to three big plays a game. At Longview, they run the ball all the time so Malcolm came here with a very physical attitude and he was already an excellent blocker. He is a great worker and a big-time talent."
"Malcolm has the same kind of abilities that all of our great receivers had that graduated last year," Wyatt continued. "As a freshman, I would put him right there as far as potential with that group. At this point in his career, he is much further along than Mark Clayton or Brandon Jones was when they were freshman.
"Remember, even Mark Bradley started his career at Oklahoma off as a cornerback. Malcolm has the size and speed that all great wide receivers need. And he has a great work ethic, which is going to help him become a great receiver. We think Malcolm is already one of the top young receivers in the country, and before he is through he has a great chance to be one of the best wide receivers in the country."
Through eight games Kelly has now caught 16 passes for 200 yards and one touchdowns, and he is just now rounding into form this year. And it is not out of the question that he won't finish with 30 catches and 500 yards at the end of the season as Bomar continues to look more and more in his direction.
Bomar has found a new target in Kelly
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