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OU football: Sooners tight end Brayden Willis announces return for 2022 season

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Brayden Willis

Senior tight end/H-back Brayden Willis during the game against Kansas State in Manhattan on Oct. 2.

Oklahoma tight end Brayden Willis announced he will return for the 2022 season on The Podcast on the Prairie on Friday. 

The senior gets an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 waiver allowed by the NCAA. Willis recorded 15 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns last season.

“I’m running it back, Sooner Nation," Willis said on his podcast alongside former OU teammate and co-host Jeremiah Hall. "I’m running it back. I’m coming back. We’re gonna go turn this thing up and we’re going to go win the (national championship). Then I’ll go ahead and leave, and I’ll go make my money. But I’m coming back."

Willis has been a three-year starter at Oklahoma after playing sparingly as a freshman. The 6-foot-4 tight end was originally a three-star recruit, according to 247Sports' Composite rankings. 

Willis said the opportunity to be "the guy" in the tight ends group and improve his NFL draft stock was one of the reasons he decided to stay. Hall declared for the draft, and junior tight end Austin Stogner transferred to South Carolina along with quarterback Spencer Rattler. 

“That was one of the biggest things," Willis said. "Being able to come back and be the guy and kinda see where it takes me."

The Sooners will add Missouri transfer Daniel Parker and freshmen Kaden Helms and Jason Llewellyn to their 2022 tight ends group. Nevertheless, Willis is excited for next season.

"Looking forward to it," Willis said. "Going to work my tail off this offseason to be in the best possible shape I can be. We’ll see what happens.”

Assistant sports editor

Austin Curtright is a journalism junior and The Daily's assistant sports editor. He covers OU football and has previously covered OU men's basketball, softball and soccer.

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