Jalen Saunders thought Tony Jefferson was joking.
They like to joke around, and when the safety jumped on the wide receiver and told him the NCAA cleared him to play for the Sooners, Saunders brushed him off.
“Man, get away from me, Tony,” he said jokingly.
That's when he said he saw coach Bob Stoops waving him from the scout team.
“Then I knew it was something serious,” Saunders said. “It went from a mellow day to real exciting.”
Saunders, who transferred from Fresno State in the offseason, was awaiting NCAA clearance to play for OU. He made his Sooner debut against Texas on Saturday.
LESS CALLS FOR DEFENDERS TO REMEMBER
Much has been made of Oklahoma's tweaked defensive system under Mike Stoops, who returned as defensive coordinator after seven-plus seasons as Arizona's head coach.
Stoops replaced Brent Venables, who left for Clemson, and made a few subtle changes, one of which was simplifying things.
Senior defensive end R.J. Washington said that he doesn't think much is all that different, but that Stoops does run less defensive calls.
“It's quality over quantity,” he said.
Washington described waiting before each play for Venables' call, which always came in late.
“He didn't want anybody to have any edge on us,” he said, adding that, for the same reason, Stoops' calls come in late, too, but there's less for players to remember.
“You've got two arm bands (with defensive calls written all over them),” Washington said. “You'd be sitting there like, ‘C'mon man; c'mon.'
“The offensive line's lining up; they're already down, and you finally get your call.
“It's hard to explain. In some ways it's simplified, but for a lot of us, we've been around here for a while, so we know what we're supposed to be doing.”
Last weekend, Oklahoma's defense stifled Texas, holding the Longhorns to just two first downs in the whole first half in a 63-21 rout.
BLAKE BELL'S OTHER NICKNAME
The Oklahoman recently featured backup quarterback Blake Bell in its weekly feature "The Man Beneath The Helmet."
In his profile, Bell said his nickname was “White Shades,” which is a surprise since Bell is best known for his goal-line rushing package nicknamed the “Belldozer.”
So what's the story behind Bell's other nickname?
“I just had some white sunglasses, Oakleys, and all of sudden we got in the locker room and everyone was dancing around and they started calling me ‘White Shades B. Bell.'
"It kind of just stuck and basically the whole team calls me ‘White Shades.' ”
O-LINE IS FINE
Bronson Irwin impatiently sat on the equipment box.
The trainers told him he had to be “spatted.” So he sat there and let them retape his ankle, but he said he was fine.
“It could have been broke and I still would have gone back in,” Irwin said.
Oklahoma's offensive line has already lost two to ACL injuries. When asked how his ankle felt, Irwin quickly brushed it off, saying he was fine. It was great. He was onto focusing for the next week.
Offensive lineman Adam Shead also went down during the Texas game and came out for a few plays with an injury that Irwin said is fine.
So, who was banged up worse?
“I don't know,” Irwin said. “Shead's a little softer than me.”
“Yeah, it's a joke,” Irwin said. “We go back and forth on who's softer. I'll insist that it's Shead.”
A VICTORY DOG, OR TWO, OR THREE
R.J. Washington made it clear that after the Red River Rivalry — he wanted his corn dog.
Well, thanks to a 63-21 rout of Texas he got his corn dog times three.
...and a turkey leg.
...and a funnel cake.
“I had a bag,” Washington said. “My mom and sister got me the two corn dogs, funnel cakes and turkey leg.
“Usually we just get on the bus and leave, but we got to stay. ... I ate all that and then went back and got another (corn dog). It's just not the same when it's cold.”
Washington explored the Texas State Fair in his Oklahoma gear with his teammates. He ran into his high school coaches and “talked a lot of trash to Texas fans.”
“I said, ‘Hey, I got a shirt and some pants in my bag. It's not too late,' ” Washington said.