Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said there's no question that senior receiver Jalen Saunders is a potential NFL prospect, despite his small size.
Norvell would know; he spent several years in the NFL coaching with the Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders. He was on the Raiders' staff when they reached the 2003 Super Bowl with legendary receivers Jerry Rice and Tim Brown on the roster.
“There are a lot of categories,” Norvell said of NFL receivers. “There's a big-guy category. There is a slot receiver category. He's really showing that he can do a lot of things very well as a punt returner and a route runner.
“I think they like his toughness. He's shown that he'll mix it up. We've used him in a lot of situations where you would use a bigger receiver and he goes in there and throws his body around. I'm probably most proud of that from him, how he has been a physical player.”
Oklahoma sophomore offensive tackle Derek Farniok has always gotten some notice from fans for his 6-foot-9 frame alone, but he's rarely played to this point in his college career.
Farniok got a shot at significant playing time last week at Kansas State, though, when starting tackle Tyrus Thompson left the game injured early in the second half.
“Derek came in and did a good job in an important situation and a big game for us,” said senior center Gabe Ikard. “We'll see how Tyrus is as we go along, but Derek has to be ready to step up.
“That's where the extra week of practice comes in. We've got time to get him some reps and evaluate some things. If we've got to shuffle some guys around and make some different moves, that's what we'll do. That's up to the coaches. But we've got to come to practice every day and get comfortable in different positions.”
COLVIN TALKS DAMIEN WILLIAMS
Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin called the dismissal of running back Damien Williams “an unfortunate situation,” but said he'll continue to support his friend.
“I love Damien; he's like my brother,” Colvin said. “We know that he'll overcome it. We've got other guys that will step up in his place. We have a lot of great backs back there. We just have to have his support.”
Williams, a senior, rushed for 1,499 yards and 18 touchdowns in his two-year OU career.
Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, when asked how much the week off will help prepare for Bedlam:
“Hopefully it will slow them down a little bit. They're really playing well. They're hot right now. Everything seems to be falling and it's falling their way. They're making all the plays and that's a good feeling to have when you feel like things are going your way. We'll have our hands full that's for sure.”