Apr. 8—Waking up early for practice finally excites OU receiver Trejan Bridges.
He admitted that hasn't always been the case.
His long road from receiving a suspension ahead of the 2019 Peach Bowl to being reinstated ahead of the 2020 Big 12 championship game has offered a new perspective to the rising junior.
"It was an obstacle," said Bridges, who was suspended for failing a drug test. "I've had multiple obstacles that I have had to face. It was a long learning experience. I learned a lot through just watching and helping my team. It was like I had to take what I learned and take the negative and turn it into a positive."
Former OU defensive end Ronnie Perkins and running back Rhamondre Stevenson were suspended for the same reason. The trio relied on each other, as well as the support of family and coaches, to get through the difficult time.
The former five-star receiver has been relieved of the stress his situation presented and is looking to parlay the work he put in during his suspension, which spanned 10 games, into a breakout 2021 season.
"The ability is certainly there and I think all he's been through the last couple of years I do feel like there's been some growth in some key areas and he's going to have to keep that up," OU coach Lincoln Riley said. "... He's got to do his part to stay on the field, stay healthy, to keep working and improve because when he knows what he's doing and when he's locked in I think the talent is very, very obvious to everybody on that field.
"It takes a lot more than that and I think that's what he's starting to learn over the last two years. We're banking on that showing up and the more mature, experienced Trejan is, he'll help this football team."
Follow me @JoeBuettner