Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he doesn't expect that senior cornerback Aaron Colvin or fullback Trey Millard — and maybe some other experienced seniors — will play much in Saturday's spring game.
“I'm not much on guys that have played a lot of football. … Aaron Colvin, I don't want to see out there,” Stoops said. “Trey Millard can't be out there. I don't know how much (running backs) Damien (Williams) or Brennan (Clay) will play. Those guys have played a ton of football for us. I don't believe in seniors being out there much. In our other scrimmages they have played very little.”
Defensive end D.J. Ward finally received NCAA clearance to practice Tuesday, but the Sooners' other two early enrollees — receiver Dannon Cavil and safety Ahmad Thomas — have impressed coaches through spring workouts, Stoops said.
“They really have been good,” Stoops said. “Dannon had a nice play the other day. He shows a lot of strength and size and catches the ball well.”
Cavil is a big receiver at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds. The San Antonio product originally committed to Ole Miss, then Cal before switching to Oklahoma in December.
Thomas, from Miami, has shown good ball instincts, Stoops said.
“I always say with safeties and linebackers, you shouldn't have to say much to them,” Stoops said. “They're instinctive in finding the ball and where to be. Ahmad has shown a lot of that and is making a lot of plays.”
BOULWARE: FOOTBALL SHOULD KEEP KICKOFFS
As football executives and coaches continue to better understand head injuries, what might change about the game itself? One idea that's been floated around pretty prominently is eliminating kickoffs entirely.
In a Time magazine article last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that kickoffs could be replaced by giving the would-be kicking team the ball on its own 30-yard line with one play — a fourth-and-15 situation — to either punt or attempt a first down.
The idea was crafted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, who was Rutgers' coach when Eric LeGrand injured his neck on a kickoff. He remains paralyzed today.
First-year Oklahoma assistant Jay Boulware, who has coached special teams for most of his career, said he wouldn't be in favor of eliminating kickoffs, adding that most of the injury problems can be corrected with better coaching.
“I love the enthusiasm that it brings to the game,” Boulware said. “There's nothing like the first kickoff of the game and the excitement that it brings. The swings of a game can be dictated in your kickoff and kickoff return units. I don't want to get rid of it, but it's not my decision.”