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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Sooners seeing solid early returns from transfers

Damien Williams
Arizona State's loss has been OU's gain.

Bob Stoops has to thank his lucky stars that three transfers decided to finish their college football careers in Norman. Damien Williams, Justin Brown and Brannon Green have made headlines for the Sooners in the first two games.

Williams, once committed to Arizona State, has been the breakout star at running back with 20 carries for 259 yards and 5 touchdowns. He came to OU from Arizona Western Community College where he was named a first-team National Junior College All-American and player of the year in the Western States Football League.

Williams' first nine carries against UTEP were rather ho-hum, as he picked up only 38 yards. That was with the aid of a 12-yard burst up the middle in the fourth quarter. Minutes later, he made Crimson faithful take notice as he bolted 65 yards for the game's final touchdown.

Last Saturday against Florida A&M, he scored the Sooners' first three touchdowns on runs of 3 yards, 4 yards and 15 yards. But it was his fourth touchdown that brought the OU crowd to its feet. Early in the third period, Williams raced 89 yards to put Oklahoma ahead, 49-10. He finished the game with 156 yards on 10 carries.

"All I did was just run," Williams said of his 89-yard score. "My line blocked great and Trey Millard came off and made a great block for me. I just cut up field and took it all the way. If it wasn't for the line doing what they were doing, I wouldn't be here talking to you."

"Damien's a strong, powerful guy with excellent speed," head coach Bob Stoops said. "It's exciting to see him play the way he is. He looked great out there (Saturday night)."

Justin Brown
What can Brown do for you?

Brown escaped the horrible tragedy of the Penn State scandal electing to transfer after spending this first three years there. Now, he appears to be OU's best punt return specialist since Antonio Perkins graduated in 2004. Brown has returned 6 punts for 132 yards. That's 22 yards per return. Ryan Broyles averaged 15.9 per return in 2009. Brown hasn't returned one for a score yet, but he had three that set up touchdowns against Florida A&M. His 43-yard return set up the Sooners' second touchdown, but nearly everyone in the stadium though he had scored when he dove over the pylon. A review revealed he had stepped out at the 4-yard line. He had returns of 51 and 62 yards to set up the next two TDs in the second quarter.
He had a 30-yard return in the season opener that showed promise of his brilliance. As a receiver, Brown has caught 6 passes for 87 yards with no scores in his first two games.

"Justin's an exceptional athlete," Stoops said. "When you have a bigger guy like that people get their hands on him but if you don't truly have your arms around him in a good position, he has the ability to run through you or to break away from it because of how strong he is."

Like Williams, Brown credits his teammates for his success.

"You can have guys coming down on you pretty fast," he said. "Usually, I just like to see how high the ball is kicked and how far it's kicked, judge it and then set up my blocks. Most of it goes on the punt return team. If they hold them up, I can get a good return. When you see a good return, basically it's because they did a good job of holding them up, and making key blocks."

Brannon Green, a transfer from Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, is coming on strong as the Sooners' tight end. He caught an 18-yard scoring strike from Landry Jones to put OU ahead, 17-7, over UTEP. Early in the fourth quarter against FAMU, he caught another 18-yarder that set up Dom Whaley's touchdown to give the Sooners a 62-13 lead.