Jones, Habern expected back after spring breakUniversity of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday he’s anticipating that injured returning linemen Jarvis Jones and Ben Habern will return to the practice field after spring break. Jones, a guard/tackle coming back from a fractured heel, actually dressed out and participated in some drills during OU’s first spring practice Monday. Habern, a center/guard who broke his fibula late last season, did some light running and worked on snaps along the sideline.
Line impresses during winterAt the advent of spring ball last year, Stoops called out his offensive line for its lack of "work ethic” and "attitude.” But this winter, Stoops was pleased with the way the line worked. "They’ve been one of our best groups, how they’ve worked, met the challenge every day and their attitude,” Stoops said. "I’m pleased with where they’re at right now, at least to this point with the work they’ve done.”
Murray to participate in everything but scrimmagesFor the first time since his freshman year, senior running back DeMarco Murray will be able to participate in spring ball. Murray, healthy during the off-season for the first time in three years, will take part in many of the drills, though won’t be involved in any live hitting or scrimmages for precautionary reasons. "He will do everything every day outside of anything that is live and take-it-to-the-ground,” Stoops said. "I’m not going to take a chance on him getting twisted up or getting caught somewhere. I’ve seen DeMarco play a lot of football and it’s been a lot of good football. I’m just not taking that chance on something silly happening to a guy who knows how to play."
Chaisson moving insideDue to a lack of bodies at the position, the Sooners have moved freshman defensive end Justin Chaisson to tackle. "He’s kind of growing and getting bigger,” Stoops said. "He’s up to about 275 I believe. He can carry it. He was bigger even in high school. We don’t want him to get (weight) on too fast but, as he continues to just grow naturally, I think it’s going to work out for him.”
Wort coming alongFreshman middle linebacker Tom Wort, who is coming off ACL surgery, is 100 percent and has been cleared by doctors, Stoops said. But the Sooners plan to bring him along slowly and give him reps before throwing him into live drills as Wort eases back into the game. Wort, out of New Braunfels, Texas, missed all of last season after injuring his knee during preseason workouts.
Reynolds in the officeFormer Sooner linebacker Ryan Reynolds has remained in Norman and is helping the program with office work. Reynolds is hoping to land a graduate assistant’s job, though none are currently available at OU. "He wants to get into coaching,” Stoops said. "We’ll see whether we have room for a graduate assistant or actually a student assistant. But right now our graduate assistant spots are full, so he’s just doing office work.”
Sooners land sixth 2011 commitmentOU got the spring off to a good start by snagging a verbal commitment from Arlington, Texas, all-purpose running back Danzel Williams. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound back held offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Oklahoma State and TCU. Williams rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 22 TDs last season. OU now has six verbal commitments for the class of 2011.
Two-minute drillSophomore Javon Harris will not be moving to running back after all. Stoops suggested a move might be in store for the Lawton native. Instead, Harris will remain in the defensive backfield at safety. ... Backup walk-on QB John Nimmo will replace Carter Whitson as the team’s holder to begin the spring. ... The Sooners held their first spring practice indoors due to heavy rain. BY JAKE TROTTER
Jones, Habern expected back after spring break