- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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NORMAN, Okla. -- Trey Metoyer hadn't dropped a single pass in a team drill in any of Oklahoma's 14 closed spring practices. After Saturday's Red-White game, the true freshman wideout still doesn't have a drop.
Showing the rest of us why coaches and teammates have been raving about him all spring, Metoyer dazzled the crowd of more than 10,000 who braved the potentially inclement weather at Owen Field to catch a glimpse of the 2012 Sooners.
"It's what you hoped he'd do, because he has practiced in that fashion for 14 days," said offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. "Was it something that was out of ordinary for him? No it wasn't."
Metoyer's debut was anything but ordinary. He led all receivers with 72 yards receiving on six catches. While drops plagued others like Kenny Stills and Trey Franks, Metoyer hauled in every ball tossed his way. Not even Heupel, who usually tempers everything, could temper his excitement for Metoyer's potential.
"I can't remember a competitive play where he didn't make the catch this spring," Heupel said. "He's a guy that can be a big-time impact on us offensively. He can be a competitive one-on-one playmaker out on the outside.
"He has special ability. He has the talent to be a special player."
Metoyer flashed that talent on his first series with the first-team offense. He bodied up cornerback Lamar Harris along the sideline, then elevated to snag Drew Allen's pass with his feet in bounds for a first down.
"He's an easy guy to trust," Allen said. "You know he's going to run the right route; you know he's going to take the right steps; you know he has sure hands."
Later in the half, Metoyer slipped away from cornerback Kass Everett on a third-and-long curl pattern for a first down. On the next play, he cut open across Everett to haul in another first down on an out route.
"Trey showed what I've been talking about all spring -- his ability to make plays," Bob Stoops said. "He's just got incredible hands, ability to make plays, a knack for adjusting for the football, all the things you saw today. He can run, and he really relishes the moment. He's a competitor, for a young guy."
The Sooners sure could have used Metoyer last year, especially after leading receiver Ryan Broyles went down with a season-ending knee injury. Metoyer signed with OU in 2011 but failed to qualify and attended Hargrave Military Academy instead. After transferring in at mid-semester, Metoyer quickly showed he was the same player who finished with 259 career receptions, second only to Jordan Shipley in Texas state high school history.
"He's got a chance to be as special as advertised," said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. "He's a very complete player for being so young. He's a guy that we really needed to come in and be a player for us, and he certainly will be, that's for sure."
Even though the Sooners return four receivers with starting experience in Stills, Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson, it's almost impossible to envision Metoyer not winning a starting job. Later on in the spring game, Heupel slid Stills to the slot, and placed Metoyer wide on the same side, perhaps in a preview of a set the Sooners could employ early and often next season.
"He's going to size up a lot of small DBs," said cornerback Demontre Hurst, "and get physical with the big DBs. He has it all."
Metoyer, in speaking with the media for the first time since coming to campus, said his No. 1 goal for next season is to play in a national championship. His No. 2 goal is not to play like a freshman.
"I want to be just like everybody else," he said. "I just want to come here and just perform. That's all I really want to do."
Metoyer didn't look like a freshman Saturday. He looked like a receiver capable of big things in his freshman season.
"From January to now, he has those types of characteristics," Heupel said. "Is he going to continue it through May, June, July and into fall camp? We're going to find out.
"But if I was a betting man, on him, I would bet that he would."
8hAdam Rubin and Kieran Darcy