By John Shinn
CNHI News Service
NORMAN, Okla. —
For two years, Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard has shown he can handle a lot more than being a battering ram of a lead blocker. He did score seven touchdowns in his first two seasons.
The Sooners appear convinced the time has arrived to fully utilize his wide array of skills.
“Finding ways to continue to use him I think is important for us,” OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “He gives us the ability to do multiple formations, multiple personnel groupings without changing our personnel. That’s been important to us when we’ve been good on offense, especially in our tempo packages going back to Brody Eldridge and Jermaine Gresham who could play in the line, outside and then come back to the fullback position.
“The versatility that he gives us, he’s got a lot on his plate. When you’re playing different positions like that, there’s a lot of the playbook that you’ve got to understand. He can continue to grow into that. He does it at a really high level. We expect him to have a huge year for us.”
Millard expects to play fullback, running back and tight end this season. The problem is he could very well be OU’s best option at all three spots. Running backs coach Cale Gundy wouldn’t argue with the assertion.
“He’s a hybrid guy, and you have to find ways to give him multiple touches,” Gundy said of the 6-2, 255-pound junior.
The hard part is learning three different positions. Millard showed last season he could handle the load. He played all three as a sophomore. Keeping defenses guessing about where he’ll line up is one of the benefits he brings to the table.
OU’s no-huddle offense is a byproduct of having players who can play multiple positions and forcing defenses into certain personnel groups to match it. Millard’s skills can force mismatches that swing in OU’s favor. He doesn’t believe he’s alone.
“I think as a team we’re really versatile,” he said. “We have so many guys that can play so many different positions and can move around that it makes for matchup difficulties with opposing defenses.”
One that Heupel has vowed to exploit is the one Millard can create. The roster may say he’s a fullback, but he’s going to do a little bit everything this season.