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July 27, 2013

Millard looks to get more involved in Sooner offense

NORMAN — A reporter pointed out to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops Tuesday that replacing wide receivers Kenny Stills and Justin Brown leaves available 155 receptions from last season’s offense.

Stoops turned to his right, looked at fullback Trey Millard and informed him of the offense’s new direction.

“Trey, you’re getting 150 more plays next year,” Stoops joked. “You’re getting all those balls that Kenny and Justin caught.”

Obviously, the 259-pound Millard isn’t going to lineup at wide receiver and the 150-catch statement was in jest. But getting the senior more involved as a true skill player is an offensive goal this season.

Millard is simply too good with the ball in his hands to be a simple battering ram. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry and 11.2 yards per reception last season.

He doesn’t expect to be the focal point of the Sooners’ offense this season. But he does expect to display more of his skills.

“There may be more chances to touch the football,” he said.

The chances should be there because Millard has expanded his skills every season. First out of the backfield. Last season he showed he can play tight end.

The offseason was spent trying to become a reliable tight end for his senior season. Oddly enough, it was pass catching that was his focus.

“You never think you are good enough and always focus on them, especially as tight end with the hand down,” he said. “It’s definitely a different blocking style and technique than blocking in the backfield. It’s been a focus in the offseason for me — working on blocking. More end-line and hand down.”

The effort is to become an every-down player, which OU can use in any formation or personnel package.

OU fans have been asking for three years why Millard doesn’t get the ball more. It’s a good question, because he seems to produce an ample amount of big plays.

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