EDMOND — Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops delivered a bit of good news Monday morning before playing in the Scott Verplank Foundation Invitiational at Oak Tree National.
Junior defensive tackle Jordan Phillips is fully participating in the Sooners’ summer workouts after missing most of last season with a back injury.
“Jordan’s back, participating in all our summer activities and has been pain free, and says he’s 100 times better than he was a year ago at this time, playing through, even the first (four) games, he played through some pain,” Stoops said. “We didn’t know how long it was gonna last. It just gave out there after the Notre Dame game. I think he feels much more confident in his long-term stability and our long-term position with his back.”
Phillips, who was still considered raw when he contributed occassionally as a redshirt freshman in 2012, was having a breakout season through four games.
Redshirt freshman Jordan Wade started the remaining nine games and played well, but Stoops said Phillips is a true difference maker up front when healthy.
“Jordan, if he stays healthy, he can be as dominating a player as there is in college, and disruptive up front,” Stoops said. “His size, speed and ability to react down the line of scrimmage is pretty unique for a guy that big. Hopefully he can drop some weight; he’s gained some weight over the last nine months in being unable to physically participate until this summer in a lot of our activities, but he’s got all the tools.
“We missed him inside; Jordan Wade came in and really did a nice job for us, kinda holding down that middle, but the production, it’s different, Jordan can take up the middle and make plays. That’s something we’ll be looking forward to getting him back.”