NORMAN, Okla. -- Overlooked in the aftermath of Texas A&M’s 41-13 thrashing of Oklahoma was a bit of good news for the Sooners.
Fullback Trey Millard announced he would be returning to OU for his senior season after flirting with the idea of declaring for the 2013 NFL draft. The junior’s decision is great news for the Sooners as Millard should be one of the core members of the squad in 2013.
Since he stepped on campus as a freshman, Millard has been one of the most productive players on the team. He’s arguably the Sooners best special teams player and one of the best playmakers on offense although tends to be under utilized in the Sooners system.
His decision to return means the Sooners have another chance to build an offensive package around Millard during his senior year to take advantage of his exceptional blocking, pass catching and running skills. His versatility allowed the Sooners to play without a tight end for much of the 2012 season and he can fill a similar role in 2013. And, maybe most importantly, Millard returns to be one of the leaders of a youthful 2013 roster full of inexperienced players.
Millard’s return also gives the coaching staff more than a year to find one or two players to fill his various roles in the offense. The Sooners fill good about the young tight ends, Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant, on their roster but Millard’s return allows those guys to continue to develop without pressure. At fullback, Aaron Ripkowski has been a contributor for the past two seasons and joins Millard to give OU two quality players there. Knowing those positions are taken care of in 2013 means the coaches don’t have to sign someone at either position in February, although finding a hidden gem who can play various roles like Millard to sign on Signing Day 2013 would be the ideal scenario.
As disappointing as the final game of the 2012 season was for OU, Millard’s return was a glimmer of hope on Friday night.