Monday, August 6, 2012
Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 20
By ESPN.com staff
Our official list of the Big 12's top 25 players entering the 2012 season marches on. Here's more on my criteria for who makes it, who doesn't, and who lands where.
The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day leading up to the season.
Next up on the list:
No. 20: Trey Millard, FB/TE/H-back, Oklahoma
2011 numbers: Carried the ball 24 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Caught 13 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Made 16 tackles.
Most recent ranking: Millard was unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Millard: Don't you dare look at Millard's modest stat line and say, "Huh? What's he doing on this list?"
Millard's the personification of what the folks around the league like to call "a football player." Millard does a little bit of everything, but he's one of the league's toughest, complete players and the most versatile player on Oklahoma's roster.
You've heard of the Belldozer, right? You may not know that Millard's maybe the biggest piece that makes it all work, the 6-foot-2, 256-pound battering ram that clears the way for Blake Bell, who scored 13 touchdowns out of the short-yardage formation last season.
That's not all he did. Far from it.
"Trey Millard is as good of a player as I've been around," Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel told reporters at OU's media day this weekend. "He played three different positions last year."
Millard may add a fourth this season. He's expected to play a little bit of tailback. The Sooners coaches want the ball in his hands more often.
Millard, entering his junior season, mastered the fullback position and helped out the Sooners at tight end as well as H-back. When the new defensive coordinator takes notice within a few days, you know he's making a big impact, despite rarely touching the ball.
"He's ‘The Slash'," Sooners coordinator Mike Stoops said this spring. "I don't know how he remembers it all, but he does."
He remembers it, and then he goes out and does it. Better than just about anybody. Millard doesn't get enough glory around the league for what he's doing for the Sooners, but don't be surprised if that changes very soon.
The rest of the list:
- No. 25: Justin Gilbert, CB/KR, Oklahoma State
- No. 24: Ben Habern, C, Oklahoma
- No. 23: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
- No. 22: Josh Boyce, WR, TCU
- No. 21: Cyril Richardson, OL, Baylor