Oklahoma football: Defensive tackle Quincy Russell will arrive soon

by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: August 3, 2013

Finch came in as a Parade All-American and rushed for nearly 400 yards as a true freshman before upping his total to 605 — while more than tripling his receptions — as a sophomore.

But with Trey Millard and Brennan Clay getting additional touches and the addition of Damien Williams in the backfield, Finch got squeezed out.

NEW RECEIVERS MAKING STRIDES

Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said he's impressed with his new crop of wideouts through three days of camp.

“The younger players have an opportunity to compete,” Norvell said. “K.J. Young and Austin Bennett, those guys have done a really good job. They show a quick understanding and they show athletic ability. They've shown playmaking ability. These are real critical days at camp because we've just started and we have three practices in. But we can kind of see and have a taste of what they are capable of doing.

“In the next week, we put the pads on and things start to get real hot and heavy and we'll see how they respond.”

BYRD EARNS HIGH PRAISE

Through three days of preseason practices, freshman safety Hatari Byrd has worked at three different positions — nickelback, dimeback and safety, OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said.

“He's very knowledgeable,” Mike Stoops said. “He's easy to coach. He wants to be great. His maturity level is one of the highest I've seen this early on in his career. His maturity physically, we know what he looks like, but his maturity mentally and athletically.

“It's a very unique set of tools to work with a kid this young. He may be the biggest, fastest guy that we've seen at this young of an age.”

Byrd (6-1, 198 pounds) and fellow freshman safety Ahmad Thomas each have opportunities to earn early playing time because of the Sooners' inexperienced secondary.

But Mike Stoops said of Byrd, “He's the guy we'll probably lean on the heaviest.”

BARRETT CHOOSES TCU

Oklahoma and Ole Miss were thought to be the front-runners for Dallas Skyline offensive lineman Ty Barrett.

But Barrett (6-foot-4, 309 pounds) decided to stay close to home, committing to TCU on Saturday night.

Barrett also had Texas Tech in his top four.

The Sooners have one offensive lineman committed for the 2014 class — Alex Dalton of Troy, Ohio. Both of OU's 2015 commits are offensive linemen.

GRISSOM: COTTON BOWL START A ‘GREAT MOMENT'

The 2012 season was a bit strange for junior defensive end Geneo Grissom.

He moved to tight end just before the season began, and was initially expected to start there. But midway through the year, he decided defensive end was a better fit and moved back.

Grissom saw some playing time late in the regular season, but earned his first career start in the Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M.

“I started playing a lot more in a few of the previous games, but that Cotton Bowl game, that was a big moment for me,” Grissom said. “It was a great moment, very exciting.”

Grissom is expected to be a starter on OU's inexperienced defensive line when the 2013 season begins, and said he's motivated by the people doubting the unit.

“Nobody wants to be told that they're not expected to be very good,” Grissom said. “It's a kick-force for us to get better every day in camp.”

by Ryan Aber
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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