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Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops: Running back Dominique Whaley explosive, strong, fast

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Published: August 27, 2012

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he expects former walk-on running back Dominique Whaley to pick up where he left off last season.

Whaley's breakout debut ended midway through the season when he suffered a broken ankle at Kansas State.

Stoops was asked Monday during the Big 12 teleconference if Whaley can be the same player he was last season when Whaley rushed for 627 yards and nine touchdowns, essentially in six games since he was injured on the first offensive series in Manhattan.

“I really think so,” Stoops said. “In my mind he looks to be back to what Dom always was, that's explosive, strong, fast. Whether he's 100 percent or not, maybe only he and the good Lord really know. But he sure looks it to me. I'm hopeful that will be the case.”

Here's a look at what else Stoops had to say during the teleconference:

Improvements made by quarterback Landry Jones, a four-year starter: “A lot of what he's always done his great leadership and hard work. But I believe we'll see more consistency because of two reasons. I believe he's a better player. He's more mobile this year. He's throwing a great ball. He's even improved that. And I believe players around him will be more consistent. That position needs (to be) supported. Hopefully the players around him I believe have a chance to be more consistent and be better this year.”

New rule of kickoffs moving up five yards and touchbacks being brought out to the 25-yard line: “What you're really going to have to gauge is watching all these NFL preseason games everyone is trying to gauge how long the ball is in the air. If they line drive it and you catch it five yards deep you still have a chance to get it out to the 25 or better. If it's hung up there a pretty good while and you catch it three or four yards deep you might just want to keep it in there. They're five yards closer to you in the cover team and you're going to get it at the 25... I think anything that can help with the injuries is positive. Heck, the NFL is doing it, we ought to do it. Some of the big blows and big injuries come on those big collisions on kickoffs. To limit some of those is a good thing.”

Defensive line newcomers filling voids left by two players leaving for the NFL and another being suspended: “I've been real pleased. Overall the guys up front are doing a really good job. R.J. Washington, David King and Chuka Ndulue have really been consistent. Rashod Favors, a young guy we moved over from linebacker, has made significant improvement. That's going to help. And we have two young guys, freshmen that as time goes I think can help us. Jordan Phillips, a new guy up front inside, has really made great improvement to go with the talent that he has. That can help us in there, too.”

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