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Broyles, Lewis will stay at OU for another season
NORMAN -- A day after star linebacker Travis Lewis announced he will return for his senior season, teammate Ryan Broyles gave Oklahoma fans even more to smile about.
Broyles, the most prolific receiver in OU history, told school officials that he will also return for his senior season this fall.
"We’ve got a chance to have a very good team next season and I really want to be part of that,” said Broyles. “I like the guys on the team and the coaches, and feel like there is more we can accomplish. Being at OU means a lot to me. It’s a great environment.”
Lewis also cited his appreciation for OU as a factor in his decision, and went one step farther in pinpointing his reason.
"“I’m coming back to win a national championship, point blank” noted Lewis. “Anything else would be a disappointment. That is the main goal. This is a program built on a tradition of championships and I intend on being here for another one.”
Lewis has been Oklahoma’s leading tackler in each of his first three seasons with the Sooners. No player has ever led the program in tackles in four straight seasons.
Lewis has accumulated 362 career tackles, the ninth-best total in school history. In 2010, he became the first OU player since Rocky Calmus to crack the OU top 10 list in that category.
With eight career interceptions, Lewis is tied with Sam Allen (1951-52) for the most by a Sooner linebacker.
“I compliment Travis not only on being a great player, but on making a good decision for his future,” said OU coach Bob Stoops. “He is giving himself the chance to improve his status and opportunity with another year of college ball. He’ll work hard physically and he’ll have another year of playing experience. All of that will translate well to the NFL.”
Through three seasons, Broyles has 266 catches for 3,429 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2010, when he was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and a consensus All-American, Broyles hauled in 131 passes for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The NCAA won’t compute final statistics until all the bowl games are played, but Broyles entered the bowl season as the nation’s leader in receptions per game and No. 3 in receiving yards per game.
Even with all of the impressive numbers, Broyles wants to do more on the college level.
“Personally, I know I can mature as a person and a player and get myself better prepared for the NFL,” said Broyles. “I want to win more championships and break every record possible as a receiver. I’m fortunate to have the players around me who can help me achieve those goals.”
Stoops believes Broyles will put another year to good use.
“I know how Ryan will invest himself and this will work out very well for him,” Stoops said. “He’ll make himself an even better player and have himself at a peak when he gets ready to enter pro football. I absolutely believe he made the right decision.”
Stoops said the Norman native continues to impress in the way he plays and interacts with his teammates.
“He’s a great football player and leader,” Stoops said. “You just shake your head at some of the things he can do and yet he impacts our team equally in the way he handles himself in other aspects of our program. His return obviously strengthens us in many ways.”
Broyles put an exclamation point on his 2010 season when he caught 13 catches for 170 yards and one touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl win over Connecticut.
The Sooners are coming off a 12-2 season in which they won both the Big 12 Championship, their seventh, and the Fiesta Bowl.