Broyles waited a long time for his Sooner debut

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

As he watched the replay of his first collegiate game, Ryan Broyles said he had a surreal feeling of how far he had come during the last 13 months.

After sitting out for the first 15 games of his career for various transgressions, the redshirt freshman wide receiver was ready when he got his opportunity. He made the most of his chance with seven receptions for 141 yards in the best debut by a freshman receiver in Oklahoma history, sparking the Sooners' 52-26 triumph over Cincinnati.

It was a long time coming for the Norman native who attended nearby Norman High School and often watched games at Owen Field during his childhood. His favorite players were Mark Clayton and Andre Woolfolk.

He wavered between Oklahoma State and OU before decided to join the Sooners.

Broyles was expected to be the only true freshman to play for the Sooners last season but, a day before the season opener against North Texas, he was arrested on a complaint of stealing gas. This led to his suspension by coach Bob Stoops.

During that time, Broyles continued to work out with the team but was unable to play with the Sooners on Saturdays. He most often watched those games from a couch in his apartment.

He also missed the Sooners opener against Chattanooga for an undisclosed violation of team rules before his chance finally came against Cincinnati in the Sooners' second game.

"That was the toughest part, knowing I could help them out, but not being able to play," Broyles said. "I had been playing football since the second grade. Not being able to suit up was most difficult of all."

After his big game on Saturday, he returned to the same couch to watch a replay of the game with his friends and family.

"God always has a plan for us and that's how I look at it," Broyles said. "I just tried to hold on with a lot of strength and wait for my opportunity. And when it came I wouldn't say I was surprised, but just blessed."