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Oklahoma football: Defensive tackle Casey Walker returns to practice

Lineman commit Matt Beyer decides to give up football
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: September 10, 2012

Senior defensive tackle Casey Walker returned to practice, as expected, Monday for the first practice of the bye week.

“It was good,” senior defensive end R.J. Washington said of having Walker back. “Me and Casey came in together, so it's always good seeing someone you've known for the last five years out there grinding with you.”

Walker left the team a few days before the season opener at UTEP while dealing with an undisclosed personal issue. After meeting with him last Wednesday, coach Bob Stoops announced that Walker would return to the team Monday.

Walker's return adds much-needed depth to the defensive line. In the opener at UTEP, seniors Jamarkus McFarland and David King played virtually every snap on the interior of the line.

In last week's win over Florida A&M, redshirt freshmen Jordan Phillips and Marquis Anderson played most of the second half, but they are still working toward earning meaningful snaps.

King moved inside from defensive end after senior tackle Stacy McGee was suspended indefinitely during fall camp.

Oklahoma has this week off before next Saturday's Big 12 opener at home against Kansas State, which is known for its powerful running attack.

“It's good seeing Casey, regardless, but then seeing him in practice and knowing we've got some more depth down inside where we need it ... we're gonna need it against K-State,” Washington said. “You don't have to worry necessarily about someone being undersized, because David can slide back out to defensive end.”


Junior safety Tony Jefferson, who hurt his ankle Saturday against Florida A&M, didn't practice Monday.

“He's just out there watching, trying to stay healthy and stay off it a few days,” said senior cornerback Demontre Hurst. “He's taking advantage of the bye week. Doing what he has to do to understand the game plan for K-State.

“He's doing a lot of rehab right now and getting the mental reps. That's the positive thing.”

Senior Jesse Paulsen played in Jefferson's place after his injury Saturday.


Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was asked Monday about Roy Finch, the junior running back who was starting at the end of last season, worked more in the slot during fall camp and hasn't seen the field much through two games, except in mop-up duty against Florida A&M.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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