NORMAN, Okla. -- Two years ago, Kenny Stills splashed onto the spring scene with the poise and polish of a veteran. As a true freshman, Stills won a starting job in the fall, then broke nearly every Oklahoma freshman receiving record.
Could Trey Metoyer have the same kind of impact next season as a true freshman wide receiver?
"Absolutely," Bob Stoops said. "I believe that's very realistic he could do that.
"He has the speed, the size and the maturity. He acts like an older player."
With just a little more than a week before the Red-White spring game, Metoyer has triggered the same kind of spring buzz that Stills did as a true freshman. In OU's most recent scrimmage, he beat cornerback Lamar Harris, hauled in Landry Jones' pass with just his left hand, bounced off safety Tony Jefferson then sprinted into the end zone. The highlight already has generated more than 16,000 views on YouTube and counting.
"He's got a good feel like Kenny did when he came in," said wideout coach Jay Norvell. "He does a lot of things well naturally."
Metoyer was supposed to be with the Sooners last season but failed to qualify academically and spent the fall at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va.
Metoyer, who was the No. 51 overall prospect in the ESPNU 150 last year, was one of the most prolific prep receivers in Texas high school history. The Whitehouse, Texas, native finished with 259 career receptions, second only to Jordan Shipley in state high school history. Metoyer also finished in the top five in career receiving yards and touchdowns.
"He's got special tools, huge hands, that's one of the things I'm so impressed with -- he's like a human vacuum cleaner," Norvell said. "He's also very explosive, I used to love watching him play basketball. He can get off the ground so quickly, explosively, and that transfers to his route running."
The Sooners have four receivers with starting experience in Stills, Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson. But neither Stoops nor Norvell quashed the possibility of Metoyer still winning a starting job before the opener.
"He has that mentality," said Jones, comparing the mental makeup of Metoyer to Stills' as a true freshman. "He wants to step in and take someone's job."
Metoyer doesn't have Stills' speed or silkiness. But at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Metoyer is bigger, stronger and can bring down the jump ball in traffic, giving the receiving corps a dimension it has sorely lacked since Malcolm Kelly.
"I like how he can body people up and go get the ball," said Jones, who hasn't been afraid to throw Metoyer's way early and often in either of OU's closed scrimmages. "He's a big, strong, physical kid."
Highlights like the one-handed YouTube grab have been something to see. But what has impressed his coaches and teammates just as much has been Metoyer's work ethic off the field -- in the film and meeting rooms. That's ultimately what put Stills in the starting lineup as a freshman. It could do the same for Metoyer, too.
"Trey has come in and been in my shadow and trying to see what I can teach him and what he can learn," Stills said. "That's what I did with Ryan (Broyles). I wanted to know every little thing that he had in his head.
"Trey has made some great plays through spring -- hopefully he can do well in the spring game and earn himself a spot."