Stoops spoke very highly of his two true freshman defensive ends Michael Onuoha of Edmond Santa Fe and Charles Tapper, who is from Baltimore.
“Michael Onuoha and Tapper, those two guys really look special,” he said after seeing just two days of practice.
The veteran presence at the position, fifth-year senior R.J. Washington, has also been impressed with the duo.
“As soon as they fill out, it's going to be crazy,” Washington said. “As you get older, your body starts changing, you start becoming more an adult and you're going to be lifting weights, you're going to get naturally strong.”
With Onuoha now wearing the No. 84 that Frank Alexander had worn the last four seasons, Washington said he sees a lot of similarities between the two.
“Mike is ridiculously athletic,” Washington said. “He's long. Tap's the exact same way. Tap's a little bit shorter but Tap's kind of thick. I don't know if you all know this, but Tap had never lifted a weight until he got here and you see how thick he already is.”
NILA KASITATI, AUSTIN WOODS WILL PLAY
Nila Kasitati pounded his chest and shouted and moved to the Haka, a traditional dance, on the first day of two-a-days last year. This year, the offensive lineman was recovering from surgery for a heart condition. One that Stoops said isn't life-threatening.
“He'll be able to continue to play,” Stoops said of Kasitati. “He's had it for a long time and no one ever knew it. He never knew it and it just would flare up at times. I couldn't tell you exactly the terms of it, but this procedure, I think he's only going to be out maybe a week. This should correct the problem and he should be fine going forward.”
Trey Millard missed that Kasitati wasn't there to do the Haka again for two-a-days, but said he was glad that Kasitati is better.
“That was just nuts,” Millard said of Kasitati's Haka. “It got two-a-days going and it was wild. He'll be back with us soon. He's a great player and he'll be back.”
Stoops also commented that junior Austin Woods, who battled cancer and went through chemotherapy, will remain the field-goal snapper. Woods continued to condition and lift weights during the offseason.
“Austin has done a tremendous job fighting through all these chemo treatments and cancer treatments and continues to be out there every day, enthusiastic,” Stoops said.
BROTHERS DIFFER ON DIFFERENCES
New/old Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said not much had changed with his brother Bob since he was last with the Sooners in 2003.
“The facilities have changed a little bit but Bob hasn't changed at all,” Mike said. “Hopefully I'm a little wiser than I was eight years ago.”
Bob Stoops, though, said the change came from both sides.
“There's a lot of changes in me from when Mike was here and how I am now,” Bob said. “He's still the same guy that's very focused and very detailed in what he wants and displaying intensity that's served him well.
“In some ways, we're all a little bit older, wiser maybe in a lot of ways, but we're more seasoned than we were eight years ago.”
STILLS' DRESS NOT A DISTRACTION
Wide receiver Kenny Stills opened up about the infamous picture floating around the Internet of him wearing a purple bridesmaid dress.
Stills said he put the dress on as a joke at former OU basketball player Cade Davis' wedding this summer. The bridesmaid who owns the dress took the picture and posted it on Twitter.
However, it was discovered by a local media outlet and retweeted.
"It's nothing out of the ordinary for me," Stills said. "I feel like I am comfortable with what I am doing. I feel like everybody has taken a funny picture before."
Stills also dismissed the picture as being a distraction to go along with the Sooners' suspensions and injuries.
"I didn't think much of it," he said.
THE NEXT No. 85
Star receiver Ryan Broyles may have moved on to the NFL, but his successor may have arrived in a new young receiver. At least, that's what center Gabe Ikard is hinting.
Sterling Shepard, a former Heritage Hall standout and the son of former OU receiver Derrick Shepard, has impressed Ikard.
“He's going to play a lot of good football here,” Ikard said. “I'm excited to see all the plays he can make. I daresay he's got some very similar movements to an 85 that we lost last year.”