Broyles Embraces a Bigger Challenge

For guys as special as wide receiver Ryan Broyles, they must look for external motivation, incentive outside the program, motivation in other places.

And why is that the case?

"You know, when he's not getting a challenge from guys around him, he's got to challenge himself," said OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell.

So, that's what Norvell has been preaching to the 5-foot-11 speedster.

"You know, I challenge Ryan not only to be the best here, but the best around," Norvell said. "And I think that takes a special sort of self-discipline and self-motivation."

It's a challenge he's accepted from day one.

"Oh yeah, I always set my sights high from the first time I got on the field," Broyles said. "I wasn't just competing against these guys on my team but other teams. I'm competing nationwide, and so that's how I've always looked at the situation."

Certainly he illustrated that last year with 15 touchdown receptions, which tied for second in the nation.

Norvell seconded the fact that he's embraced the challenge of emerging more on the national stage.

"That's, I think, where he's kind of at right now," Norvell said. "And, you know, it's a challenge every single day, and he's starting to make strides in that area."

Another role he's taking with the Sooners is guiding some of the younger guys on the receiving core.

"What I'm doing is I'm stepping up and becoming more of a complete player, not just a complete player but a role model for the guys," Broyles said. "I'm one of the older guys left, and so I feel it's my turn to step up since I'm one of the older guys now."

Something that's made it easier, though, is the fact that their character blends so well together.

"Everyone's younger than me now, so I always catch myself teaching these younger guys," Broyles said. "But at the same time I fit in with them, you know, so it's a good feeling being a leader now, but I wouldn't say just the leader because there's a bunch of older guys out there, but just taking that leadership role and going with it."

The Sooners hope Broyles' desire to stand himself out from others in the nation, as well as his ability to get the most out of his fellow wide receivers, will help them produce better wide receiver play in 2010, something the nation is accustomed to out of the Sooners.

"We know we let a lot of people down, not just here but nationwide," Broyles said. "So, we just got to come together."

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