NORMAN — Only one week into fall camp, several storylines have already surfaced for the Oklahoma Sooners. Among them: → The emergence of wide receiver Cameron Kenney Coming into the fall, one of the biggest questions was replacing starters Juaquin Iglesias and Manny Johnson at wide receiver. Thanks in part to the showing so far of Kenney, receiver seems to be less of a concern. During OU’s open practice last Thursday, the junior-college transfer lined up with the first-team unit at receiver along with Ryan Broyles and Adron Tennell. And on the second play, Kenney got open on a curl pattern, caught the ball and turned upfield. By all accounts, Kenney has been making play after play like that in practice after practice. "That’s been a really exciting part of camp, because we needed to step up (at receiver) and Cameron is,” coach Bob Stoops said. "He’s shown competitiveness, he’s got excellent burst and speed to separate and he’s making more plays. He also looks like he’s becoming more and more comfortable.” →The improvement of kicker Jimmy Stevens Sure, it was merely an open practice with only a few hundred fans watching. But Stevens’ performance last Thursday was noteworthy. The sophomore was perfect on several field-goal tries, then capped the evening with a 53-yard rocket that split the uprights to draw applause from the crowd. Stevens also outshined his competition, redshirt freshman Tress Way and walk-on Bryce Easley, especially on the longer kicks. Said Stoops, "He’s been a lot more consistent this camp than a year ago.” Stevens will have to carry over that cool confidence into games. But performing that well with at least some pressure on his shoulders was encouraging. →The loss of middle linebacker Mike Balogun Last week, Stoops revealed the NCAA is investigating whether Balogun, prior to transferring to OU last summer, played semi-pro football after his 21st birthday. If he did, Balogun would lose his final season of eligibility. An announcement on the matter could be coming as early as Wednesday. Fortunately for the Sooners, this isn’t last year all over again. Even without Balogun, OU boasts loads of depth at middle linebacker. Ryan Reynolds, who looks good despite a return from a third knee injury, will continue to assume the starting spot in the middle. Austin Box, who has been working on the weak side, started four games last year in the middle after Reynolds went down with the injury. Box has the ability to swing back to the middle if needed. Lastly, true freshman Tom Wort, also a middle linebacker, is proving that he’s capable of contributing to the rotation this season as well. →The injuries at center Two days into practice, the Sooners had lost their top-two centers to injury in Ben Habern (inflamed back) and Brian Lepak (high-ankle sprain). As a result, offensive line coach James Patton has been forced to work tackle Trent Williams, guard Stephen Good and tight end Brody Eldridge at center. The good news is that all should return to normal in the coming days. Habern, who has participated in some contact drills, has shown gradual improvement since sustaining the injury and doesn’t appear to be too far away from being cleared all the way for practice. When that happens, Patton said Eldridge will move back to tight end, where his blocking acumen is so valuable. Text "Sooners" to 65360 today for your chance to win 2 tickets to OU vs. BYU in Dallas, Sept. 5.
Online:Read all of Jake Trotter’s practice reports on the OU blog at http://blog.newsok.com/ou .