Coach Bob Stoops said he had a nice meeting Wednesday with defensive tackle Casey Walker. The senior has been out of practice since last week due to undisclosed personal issues.
Stoops announced Wednesday night that Walker will return to the team on Monday.
“So, that's a positive,” Stoops said.
Stoops confirmed that Walker has been attending classes the entire time. The senior did not make the trip to El Paso last weekend for the season opener.
The Sooners host Florida A&M on Saturday and then have a bye week. The next game that Walker could play in would be Sept. 22 against Kansas State in Norman. As for whether or not Walker will be in the rotation for that game, Stoop said they'd see.
“But I'd anticipate he would,” Stoops said. “Hasn't been gone that long.”
Stoops confirmed that Walker is healthy, saying: “He's fine. We'll see. I don't have any other details for you.”
Walker's mother, Natalie Pipken, told The Oklahoman on Tuesday night that her son “is great” and “he'll be back on the team.”
ARIZONA CAR DEALER STAYS IN TOUCH
Jim Click is an Arizona icon. A 40-year car dealer in Tucson, who has 12 dealerships in his auto group. He was also a big supporter of Mike Stoops, who coached the Arizona Wildcats from 2004 until last October, when he was fired with an overall record of 41-50. Click was part of the small group that interviewed and hired Stoops in 2003.
Now, Stoops has returned to OU as defensive coordinator. Click said he stays in contact with Stoops.
“He's happy as a lark,” Click said. “I think he's thrilled to be back at Oklahoma. Mike did a good job here. I don't think people realize how bad this program was. Unfortunately, it wasn't where it should have been. Mike did a great job turning this program around.”
WILLIAMS IMPRESSED ALL WITH TOUCHDOWN RUN
Damien Williams surprised even his teammates Saturday.
“A lot of guys look at me as the heavy back because I weigh more than everyone else,” said Williams, a junior-college transfer from Arizona Western. “When I was able to break away, everyone came back with, ‘I didn't know you had it in you.'
“I was like, there's more to come, so don't be so surprised next time.”
With about three minutes remaining in Oklahoma's season opener at UTEP, Williams took a handoff, ran to his right and cut upfield. When fullback Trey Millard took out a Miner defender with a low block, Williams saw a big hole open.
“My eyes got big, and I said, ‘Oh yeah, I know I'm going all the way,'” Williams said.
He took off for a 65-yard score that sealed the Sooners' 24-7 season-opening win. Williams finished with 10 carries for 103 yards.
“He has really learned the offense really, really fast,” said running backs coach Cale Gundy. “He's really picked it up really well. I've been really impressed with him. He knows everything. He really does.”
STOOPS: METOYER HAS JUST ‘GOT TO KEEP PLAYING'
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said this week that true freshman receiver Trey Metoyer has “got to keep playing” after his college football debut, which didn't meet the lofty expectations set by many.
In the first quarter, on a screen pass to running back Dominique Whaley, Metoyer joined Kenny Stills in blocking a cornerback instead of picking up the linebacker, who tackled Whaley for a loss.
Late in the first half, he made a nice catch that would've gone for a touchdown had he kept both feet in bounds.
“Listen, I've still got great confidence in Trey,” Stoops said. “He's going to be really good. ... He's going to continue to get better and make the kind of plays that he almost made.”
SPECIAL TEAMS DECISIONS MADE BY BOB STOOPS
Bob Stoops makes the decisions on special teams, well at least the one on who will block for punter Tress Way.
He made the decision Saturday in El Paso to replace Chuka Ndulue with Gabe Ikard.
Ndulue said Tuesday that he didn't know once he positioned himself that he was allowed to move. It was his first time being in there as a punt blocker. Stoops said Wednesday that none of it was Ndulue's fault.
“He made the right check,” Stoops said.
For this Saturday's game against Florida A&M, Stoops said expect to see both guys “here and there.”
Compiled by Stephanie Kuzydym and Jason Kersey