DALLAS — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday that senior running back Dominique Whaley has been “cleared to do everything.”
Whaley, a former walk-on, became OU's starter and was the team's leading rusher until breaking his ankle in a win at Kansas State.
He was unable to participate in spring practices because of the injury and it was unclear if he'd be completely ready for the start of the 2012 season.
Stoops isn't able to work with players during the summer, but said Whaley is “out there running and training.”
Still, Stoops said nothing will be 100 percent certain until Whaley participates fully in practices.
“Until you get pads on and make that sudden cut, is he going to feel comfortable doing it and all?” Stoops said. “He says he feels really good and he's working well.”
Whaley rushed for 627 yards and nine touchdowns in seven games last season before his injury.
STATUS OF TRANSFERS STILL UNCLEAR
The status of several Oklahoma transfers remains unclear, Stoops said.
Junior-college transfers Courtney Gardner, LaColtan Bester and Will Latu were all working to become academically eligible. Gardner is reportedly close, but Stoops said “he hasn't qualified yet.”
The coach said he thinks Bester has completed his courses, but “we don't have all the (NCAA Clearinghouse) info yet.”
Gardner and Bester, both receivers, could immediately see significant playing time if they make it to Norman because of inexperience at the position.
The Rivals site SoonerScoop.com reported last week that Latu wasn't likely to reach eligibility and was looking at other options.
Sophomore defensive back Cortez Johnson transferred to Oklahoma from Arizona, and receiver Jalen Saunders joined OU from Fresno State. Both have filed appeals to the NCAA for immediate eligibility and Stoops said both appeals haven't been decided yet.
HURST: ‘WE WERE ALL ANGRY'
When Trey Franks, Quentin Hayes, Kameel Jackson and Jaz Reynolds were suspended indefinitely in May, their teammates were shocked, senior cornerback Demontre Hurst said.
They were also angry.
“We were all angry,” Hurst said. “We lost four great players who played last year and really contributed to the team.”
Hurst said it has been tough to deal with, but that the team still talks to and encourages the suspended players and hopes they are able to come back.
“Hopefully they get a second chance and have their mind right to come back,” Hurst said. “Right now, it's a big distraction. We still love them and respect them and really want them to come back.”
Franks, Hayes and Reynolds were removed from their scholarships, and Stoops allowed Jackson to keep his and work through summer school. But none of the four suspended players are listed on the current roster or in the 2012 media guide.
STOOPS ON RECEIVERS: ‘LOTS OF WORK TO DO'
Stoops was asked about his current receiving corps, given the indefinite suspensions.
“We're going to have to see,” Stoops said. “We're not able to work with the players during the summer, and a lot of these guys are new.
“We've got a lot of work to do, but I think there's a lot of talent to work with.”
Junior Kenny Stills is the only receiver on the active roster with a career NCAA Division I reception, and true freshman Trey Metoyer shined during the spring.
OU added several receivers through recruiting, between junior-college transfers and other true freshmen, including Durron Neal, Sterling Shepard and Derrick Woods.
‘LANDRY DIDN'T STRUGGLE; THE OFFENSE STRUGGLED'
OU fans are well aware of quarterback Landry Jones' struggles after Ryan Broyles suffered a season-ending ACL tear last year.
Stoops said Monday, though, that he's more concerned about everyone else.
“I didn't ask him to him to improve on anything,” Stoops said. “I asked about the 10 guys around him. They needed to improve. Landry didn't struggle, the offense struggled.”
PATTERSON DOESN'T THINK ABOUT 2005 OU WIN
TCU coach Gary Patterson was asked about his program's 2005 win at Oklahoma, which was ranked in the top 10 at the time.
“Are you trying to make coach Stoops mad at me?” Patterson said.
The Horned Frogs came to Norman and shocked the Sooners 17-10 in the 2005 season opener, snapping a long home winning streak.
Patterson said he doesn't often think about that game, even with the two teams now in the same conference.
“You've got to learn from history, but the bottom line to it is you can't look back too long,” Patterson said.