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Justin Broiles Taking Pride in Playing This Year's Version of 'The Roy'

Superman's legend still lives on in Norman, and Justin Broiles is aiming to replicate the success.

Over the course of his career in Norman, no player has seen more change than defensive back Justin Broiles.

Broiles, a local product from Oklahoma City's John Marshall, has played heavy defensive snaps since his redshirt freshman season back in 2018. He was thrown into the fire early on in his career and had to play a lot of minutes in a depleted secondary his sophomore season.

Now entering his sixth season in Norman, Broiles is in a unique spot, battling for playing time while teaching talented youngsters the ropes. The Sooners will count on his hard hits in the secondary, but also the leadership he brings to the team is invaluable.

With a brand new coaching staff, plus a new scheme on both sides of the ball, any familiarity is good for Oklahoma. Broiles has seen it all over the past five years, and having his experience and his voice to lead a young team is a luxury for Brent Venables and his first-year staff.

Broiles will patrol the secondary from a unique spot that will allow him to shine. Being one of the back lines of defense, he can see everything develop and react accordingly. Broiles’ leadership and football IQ should pay off in several aspects of the game.

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“Roy Williams came and spoke to us and said the ‘Cheetah’ was originally called ‘The Roy’ because how he was utilized and all that," Broiles said. "Being able to play a position like this, it’s an honor, honestly.

It’s an unspoken thing that I’m versatile. I can blitz, I can play man, I can play zone and fit into gaps. I understand what the offense is giving me.”

Playing a position similar to Williams, a Sooner legend, has changed the way Broiles thinks about his role. The comparison to one of the all-time greats has inspired Broiles this offseason, and has given him that much more motivation.

“When Roy originally said it was called ‘The Roy’ I took some pride in that,” Broiles said. “If Superman can dominate this position, if it can be done once, it can be done twice.”

Now, the Sooners' secondary seems to be in the best shape it’s been in during Broiles’ career in Norman. Oklahoma looks to be deep at every position with a unique mix of veteran experience and young talent ready to learn and compete. As he's grown as a player and a person, it's apparent that his impact will be just as big in the locker room as it is on the field.

After a career of changes and trials, Broiles has his eyes set on finishing what he started and perhaps even starring in his own "Superman" role.