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Mike Sherman: Power Lunch Chat transcript, August 7, 2012

Mike Sherman answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at NewsOK.com/sports.
by Mike Sherman Modified: August 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm •  Published: August 7, 2012
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How is the recruitment coming of the wide receiver from PennState?

He's in Norman today. Here's Jason's blog post on him.

I hear Drew Allen is really coming on. Do you think he can beat out Blake Bell for the starting job this season?

Eddie, I'm not speaking for Jason but here's what I've gathered from talking to Berry Tramel and others who have been covering this team closely. Blake Bell is not necessarily the backup quarterback. He's the QB for the Belldozer package. We don't know for sure who the backup is. Bob Stoops is being really coy about it. Don't you think if Bell was the backup he'd just say it? So if Landry Jones gets hurt there's two things: 1) OU is probably screwed. 2) I'd say there's a better than 50 percent chance that Drew Allen will become the starter. Bob's track record is to go with the more experienced guy, at least at the outset.

Passing attempts last year: Drew Allen 16, Blake Bell 4

Who the heck is "Robert Hollis" and how bad is he if I've never heard of him?

He's a redshirt freshman. Who's seen any redshirt freshman for that matter. He's from Tulsa Edison.

Could Geno Grissom play some guard, in a pinch?

It would be quite a pinch. OU has moved another defensive end, Nathan Hughes, to offensive line.

Will Dom Whaley be able to finish what he started last season? Is he 100 percent?

To hear Dom tell it, he's better than he was a year ago. Think about it: A year ago at this time there were six, count them SIX, running backs believed to be ahead of him on the depth chart. Stoops kept talking about Whaley and we ALL kept saying, "yeah, right. He's going to play some walk-on guy ahead of Roy Finch." Everybody fell for Finch's potential. Now Finch is working out at slot back -- could be dangerous there -- and we're worried about Whaley being 100 percent.

OU's preseason depth chart at running back could be 50 percent thinner this season and 100 percent more productive, thanks to Whaley. I wonder if you can same the same thing about running backs that you can about quarterbacks. If you you're saying you have five or six running backs what you're actually saying is you don't have any.

Who's Stoops' Dom Whaley of this camp?

I don't know of any walk-ons who are about to make the cover of Sports Illustrated, if that's what you're asking. But if you're asking who Bob Stoops is high on that we might not have had in the front of mind when practice started, I'd say there's a couple. Start with Edmond Santa Fe defensive end Michael Onuoha. Stoops brings him up every chance he gets, even said he's looking like Frank Alexander, and Frank was one impressive looking guy.

Another, and this is coming from Josh Heupel probably more than Stoops, is Sterling Shepard. When coaches are talking about a receiver's ability to get open and physically separate himself from a defender, and the guy's a freshman, that's a pretty good sign. You have to wonder how much Justin Brown's arrival from Penn State will hurt Shepard's chances of playing as a freshman. But I'd expect to see him sometime during the UTEP and Florida A&M scrimmages, I mean games.

Any idea when the OUBB schedule is coming out and who is on in for the non-conference portion?

Should be soon. The OU women's non-conference schedule is out today and it's lacking the kind of UConn, Tennessee, non-conference power game we've seen Sherri Coale schedule in the past. Here's where you can find it.

What is the impression of this team vs. last year's team at this time?

First impressions: This one does a whole lot less yammering. I was tired of hearing Travis Lewis talk before practice even started last year and I don't think I was alone. The player I'm most impressed by -- and again, this is based on first impressions -- is Trey Metoyer. Physically he showed the goods during the spring game. Personally, I found him an interesting young man to talk to. He came off as very sincerely and changed by his experience at Hargrave Military Academy. I think they've got something in Metoyer. But the injuries that have cropped up are the overriding impression at this point. They aren't the same kind of marquee players who got injured in 2009, but the volume of injuries to folks charged with protecting Landry Jones has turned that into the story so far.

Thanks for the questions. Apologies to anyone who was expecting Jason. We'll reschedule him soon.

by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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