NORMAN — It hasn't taken long for Trey Sermon to make an impact on the Oklahoma football team. The freshman from Marietta, Ga., leads the Sooners with his 74.6 rushing yards per game (averages 6.1 yards per carry) and five overall touchdowns (three rushing, two receiving).
The physical 6-0, 222-pounder, who enrolled at OU in January, took a moment Tuesday to talk about his first year on campus and what he's been told to expect at this Saturday's Red River Showdown in Dallas.
You're five games into your college career. Is going to school and playing at OU what you thought it would be?
"Yes, it's definitely everything I expected. Before I got here, listening to the coaches and talking to some of the players, they told me what to expect and how I should come in with that mentality. Just how everything has been so far, it's definitely what I expected."
What have been your favorite couple of moments on the field this season?
"My favorite memories have been being on the field with my teammates, especially throughout fall camp, grinding every day and building those relationships with everybody. I think those have been my favorite moments."
What's been the biggest adjustment you've had to make?
"My biggest adjustment is having the mentality that if you mess up you just have to keep going. Don't worry about what may have happened, focus on the next play and focus on getting the job done."
What are you thinking about as you prepare for your first OU-Texas game?
"Really to just work as hard as I can each and every day to prepare myself mentally and physically."
What have your teammates and coaches told you about the Red River rivalry and what are you most looking forward to experiencing?
"I expect it to be really big and really intense from both sides. I'm really excited about it, and I can't wait to experience that."
The running back position was a concern for many fans with the loss of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon to the NFL, but you guys are averaging 203 rushing yards per game. What's your assessment of the running game this year?
"We really wanted to have a big impact, just like they did last year. At this position at this great university, there is a lot of history of great running backs. All of us in the running backs room want to try to keep that tradition going."
What players did you look up to while growing up and what NFL players do you feel like you resemble in terms of style?
"I looked up to Adrian Peterson and Le'Veon Bell. I modeled my game after both; Adrian Peterson with his physicality and Le'Veon Bell's patience."
If you could play a different position, what would you play?
"It would probably be safety. I played a little bit of safety in high school, and just covering people, I find it fun."
How big of a benefit was enrolling early and getting a semester of school and football under your belt last spring?
"It really helped me out a lot. Coming in early and getting used to the schedule helped because it's a lot different than high school off the field, and then on the field it helped with the speed of the game, pass protection, learning the playbook. Coming in early helped me out with all of that a lot."
Who have been the most influential people for you since you arrived in January?
"It's been my mom and my friend Jerick McKinnon — he went to my same high school and is now with the (Minnesota) Vikings. He is always motivating me and telling me to keep working hard, and my mom as well. She is always checking on me to see how I am doing and making sure my head is straight and that I'm working hard."