Quick hitter: Durron Neal

First two seasons haven't gone as planned for Durron Neal. All of that will be a footnote if he can turn it around now.

It's now or never for Oklahoma junior wide receiver Durron Neal. In the opinion of a lot of OU fans, he's already two years behind from where people thought he'd be.

His freshman season was five catches for 75 yards as he continued to adjust to being a Sooner. But last year was supposed to be a big one for him. It included a 41-yard reception against Tulsa but only produced 13 catches for 176 yards.

Two years, 18 catches, 251 yards and no touchdowns. With three senior receivers gone from last year, now is his opportunity. Because if it's not now, then when?

The spot is open now. What have you done to help your case to being a starter?

I've been working hard this whole offseason to make myself better and us as a whole wide receiving group. We know we have a lot to prove. We know there are a lot of doubters out there so we're just coming together as brothers and making each other better every day.

The leadership spot is open, too. What's it like being a leader to go along with your roommate Sterling Shepard?

Just seeing him out there, and me getting a little taste last year, just makes us hungrier. Getting the young guys who haven't played as much this past season – they're getting into the offense. We know we have a lot to prove, and we're ready for the challenge.

What about some of the younger guys getting their opportunity?

Coach Jay Norvell talks about it all the time. The opportunity is here now. With all those guys leaving last year, these guys are ready to step up and us as a whole, we're ready to prove the world wrong.

Is there a different feeling around this program after the Allstate Sugar Bowl?

The Sugar Bowl was a big part of it, and just being at Oklahoma, the name itself makes it exciting. I don't just base our big recruiting class on the Sugar Bowl. I base it on the whole program – what they did in the past and it being such a prestigious program. You come here, you win championships and you have fun.

How hungry is this year's group of receivers?

This group is talented. Just like last year when a lot of people had no expectations about our d-line – those guys came up and showed up big. Now it's on our back. Now we're ready to step up to the challenge. We push each other every day. We get on each other every day. We always try to aim for perfection.

Any added extra pressure on yourself to perform this season?

I've got a lot of fire built up in me. I have a lot to prove to myself, and I want my teammates to count on me. I'm just trying to get better every day.

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