NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard has showcased something in his first two seasons with the Sooners that NFL coaches crave -- versatility.
He has excelled with the ball in his hands, lead blocking for running backs or catching the ball out of the backfield. And that's not even mentioning his dominating play on the Sooners' various special teams units.
Heading into his junior season, Millard's role on the team continues to evolve.
As a sophomore, he proved his value with the ball in his hands. Already a difference maker as a blocker, he averaged eight yards per touch, ranking tops among running backs/fullbacks. Yet, he only touched the football 37 times, finishing with 24 carries for 169 yards and 13 receptions for 137 yards.
Expect that to change in 2012.
"He's going to be a bigger part of our offense, for sure," quarterback Landry Jones said. "I think he should be."
Millard has 72 total touches during his two seasons at OU, but his 61-yard touchdown run against Kansas State was a sign that he could be utilized more as a ballcarrier, especially considering the Sooners' lack of depth.
"Trey Millard is going to play a very important role for us," running backs coach Cale Gundy said. "He's a guy who is going to get more touches in the backfield."
The Missouri native doesn't care where he lines up, as long as he's on the field more often in 2012.
"I hope to be on the field a lot more," Millard said. "Where at? That doesn't really matter to me. If it's running back, fullback, tight end, H-Back, it really doesn't matter to me. I am just trying to get more plays out there."
And the Sooners will benefit if he does.
Millard brings the versatility that will allow the Sooners to come out in a power running formation on first down and -- in their hurry-up attack -- then line up in a passing formation on second down without substituting and letting the defense off the hook while slowing the tempo of the offense.
Thanks to his all-purpose skill set, the Sooners even could line up with multiple receivers and use Millard alone in the backfield, forcing other teams to account for their running game while having no worries about pass protection.
"We'll see how it turns out, how we are going to use him," Jones said. "Getting him the ball out of the backfield, moving him around to different places. He's doing a great job for us, tough kid and is going to play real hard for you."