WR Ryan Broyles: Q&A

FoxSportsSouthwest.com's Steve Hunt caught up with star OU wide receiver Ryan Broyles following the conclusion of spring practice for a quick interview of what has transpired and what's to come.

In his first two seasons at Oklahoma, Broyles has already posted some impressive numbers. As a freshman, he set school frosh records with 46 catches and 687 yards. The Norman native earned First Team All-Big 12 Conference honors last fall as a punt returner and as a receiver, caught 89 passes for 1,120 yards and 15 touchdowns. His 89 catches and 15 TDs were both school records while his total of 1,120 yards is third-most in school history. However, Broyles wasn't done there. In the Crimson and Cream's win over Stanford in the Sun Bowl, he was named the game's MVP after catching 13 balls for 156 yards and three touchdowns, all OU bowl game and Sun Bowl records. He clearly wants to carry that momentum into the 2010 season, and he and his teammates look to rebound from a disappointing, five-loss season in 2009.

How did spring ball go for you?

Broyles: Personally, I think it was good to get more reps in. We just kind of did all the basic things. Just being out there and running around was the most fun and learning more mentally than physically and all the plays.

Discuss how much the team wants to improve after last year.

Broyles: Definitely win more games, we want to keep progressing. Offensively, we've got spots that we need to work out like the receiving corps being more consistent as well as the offensive line. Overall, if we can play more consistently, then that's what we need to work on doing. We have the athletes to put some good things together.

Do you and Landry Jones feel like you're on the same page now?

Broyles: Yeah, it's really not what I'm doing, it's more Landry. He's out there he's reading his progressions a little bit better than he did last year. That definitely helps out and makes the defensive players have to think more. As long as he comes along, the receiving corps will come along with him.

How do you view the 2009 season?

Broyles: Well, it was just one of those things. You start losing guys before the season even starts, so it kind of puts a downer in people's eyes. After we lost a couple games, we knew we weren't going to be the team of 2007 or 2008. It put a downer on us a little bit. We had to fight through it. It was about what we wanted to get out of the situation, not just wins or losses.

You finished the year on a high in the Sun Bowl. How much do you want to use that as momentum heading into this season?

Broyles: Putting up those numbers, I want to do that every game next year but I know it's not all about me. We want to get things going on the offensive line and the whole offensive core has to do well-running backs, everything. So, it's not all about me but my number will get called. As long as other guys do well, it will help our progression.

Have you ever seen a team as plagued by injuries as the '09 Sooners were?

Broyles: Yeah, that's just one of those things. I've been playing football since second grade and that's never happened. I've never lost that many people in one year, especially at the same time. I don't think that can happen again. If it did, something's going wrong in our program.

In your Sooner debut, you had 7 catches for 141 yards against Cincinnati in 2008. This year, you guys face the Bearcats at Paul Brown Stadium. How much are you looking forward to playing them again?

Broyles: Yeah, it definitely will [be good to play them again]. I am going out there like I can produce against the same team a couple of years later. You want to hold yourself to the same standards that you produced the first time, so I'm definitely looking forward to going up there and playing in the Bengals' Stadium against a great team in Cincinnati because they had a good showing last year.

Besides Cincy, you guys also play Florida State and Air Force in the non-conference portion of your schedule. How do you feel about such a tough non-league slate?

Broyles: I think that will help us when we get into conference, going out there. I heard we have one of the toughest schedules in the conference or in the nation. Starting out that way, we can't slack off. We've just got to go and prepare from the summer going all the way into training and the season. So, we have to start on a high note and keep progressing from that point. Last year, we started with BYU and then we regressed to Idaho State. You drop your game and then you've got to elevate. I think starting on that high will only carry throughout the season.

Is there any extra pressure for you being from Norman?

Broyles: I wouldn't say there's pressure. I've always tried to produce here. Having the opportunity to play here at OU is a great feeling. More than anything, I have a good fan base being here in Norman. I've got all my friends that I grew up around and all my family's still here. So there's really not pressure. I love the support and that's what helps me succeed.

Since you grew up so close to OU, was there ever any doubt that was where you were going to end up?

Broyles: Well, I'm sure other teams thought that but going into that whole situation, I was new to the whole thing-the publicity and all that. I was just weighing my best options. Oklahoma did come in late and I felt like that was a good place for me to go not just because it's in Norman but they produce championships and great athletes. I wanted to be a part of that.

Discuss your relationship with Coach Stoops.

Broyles: He's definitely a guy you can look up to, a father figure I guess you could say. Coming into OU, I made some bad choices. I know everybody's heard about those but I made some bad choices. Like a father, he didn't give up on me. He could have easily shipped me off to anywhere but he didn't give up on me and I appreciate that. That's why I look up to him like he's a father figure.

Talk about how you like returning kicks.

Broyles: Not to be conceited, cocky or anything like that, but when I'm back there, it's me versus them. All eyes are on me, so when I catch the ball, it's go time. I kind of pride myself on that and making things exciting. I know special teams are always exciting. I always want to get the ball and try to make the best of it and if not, then score.


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