Ser­mon goes to next level

Trey Ser­mon is easy­go­ing off the foot­ball field. On game day, though, the OU run­ning back flips a switch and goes for broke.

The Oklahoman - - SPORTS - Ryan Aber raber@ oklahoman.com

It’s not that Trey Ser­mon didn’t make much of an im­pres­sion dur­ing the spring and in pre­sea­son camp, but Ok­la­homa’s fresh­man run­ning back en­tered the sea­son be­hind three other more ex­pe­ri­enced backs on the Soon­ers’ depth chart.

Through two games, the Ma­ri­etta, Ga., prod­uct is look­ing like he should be the No. 1 back for the Soon­ers.

Ok­la­homa quar­ter­back Baker May­field said he saw some­thing he hadn’t seen in Ser­mon last week dur­ing the Soon­ers’ 31-16 win at Ohio State.

“He’s a guy that’s very re­laxed off the field,” May­field said. “He’s a very easy­go­ing guy. Satur­day, there was a switch that flipped in his head. I hadn’t seen it. We don’t nec­es­sar­ily go to the ground and go full-go in scrim­mages or prac­tices dur­ing the off­sea­son or dur­ing camp.

“He’s a guy that when the lights come on, he turns into a dif­fer­ent guy. It was good to see him turn it on Satur­day on the big stage like that. I think guys that can show up in big games like that, it’s a spe­cial tal­ent.”

May­field, of course, should know.

One of his big­gest plays in the win over the Buck­eyes was also Ser­mon’s defin­ing play of the game, with May­field scram­bling around run­ning to­ward the line of scrim­mage be­fore throw­ing a dart to Ser­mon in traf­fic inside the 5-yard line. Ser­mon caught the ball and fought

through con­tact to make it into the end zone.

Ser­mon said he was ready for the mo­ment.

“I was just so pre­pared,” he said. “Com­ing in early with all the other guys and re­ally just grind­ing and prac­tic­ing with them kind of pre­pared me.”

On the play be­fore Ser­mon’s touch­down, he took a di­rect snap for a

13-yard gain.

He wasn’t the first back Ok­la­homa used in the game. Ab­dul Adams started but af­ter losing a fum­ble, Ser­mon was in­serted and save for a bit when Rod­ney An­der­son spelled him, Ser­mon was the run­ning back the rest of the way.

He fin­ished with 17 car­ries for 62 yards and three catches for 23 yards and a touch­down.

Ser­mon was one of a large group of 2017 signees who joined the Soon­ers in Jan­uary and went through spring prac­tice. Sev­eral of those play­ers — most no­tice­ably Ser­mon and line­backer Ken­neth Mur­ray — are al­ready mak­ing big con­tri­bu­tions.

Coach Lin­coln Ri­ley said he saw a sim­i­lar trans­for­ma­tion that May­field no­ticed.

“He’s kind of a quiet, re­served kid but in that arena, he was not in­tim­i­dated by any stretch,” Ri­ley said. You kind of saw the com­pet­i­tive­ness and fire start to come out of him and he was very con­fi­dent. He just had a great look in his eye.

“As a coach, you can just tell most of the time in en­vi­ron­ments like that. You just look them in the eye and you can tell if they’re ready or if they’re maybe a lit­tle skit­tish and he wasn’t at all. He was ready to play and han­dled it very well.”

[AP PHOTO]

Fresh­man Trey Ser­mon scored a touch­down against Ohio State and emerged as the fea­tured run­ning back with 17 car­ries.

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