Junior Kenny Stills' move inside to the slot receiver position was announced after Justin Brown transferred in from Penn State. Brown and true freshman Trey Metoyer are slated to start on the outside when the Sooners open their season Saturday at UTEP.
But Stills said Tuesday that he had planned on moving inside anyway, especially after Metoyer's impressive performances in spring practices and the spring game.
“Our slot is what makes the offense go,” Stills said. “If you don't have someone with experience in there, it's gonna be a lot more confusing.
“Knowing how well Trey was gonna play after the spring, I felt like I had the most experience to play in there. It would be hard to throw Sterling (Shepard) in there his very first game to just start at slot. It would be like how I was last year; it wasn't very productive. I didn't play very well.”
After Ryan Broyles tore his ACL last season, Stills took over the slot and struggled. He even admitted Tuesday that his personal preference would be outside, where he's shown big-play ability during his first two seasons.
Shepard, a true freshman from Heritage Hall who has drawn comparisons to Broyles, now a Detroit Lion, will still see the field plenty this season, but in a reserve role for now.
If you see senior defensive end R.J. Washington on or off the field, it's virtually guaranteed there will be something — a watch, a bracelet or a band — on one or both of his wrists.
“When I was in high school, that's when bands started really coming out; I used to always have a lot of bands,” Washington said. “Now I don't have as many, but it's like, if I don't have something; if I don't have a watch, or a bracelet, or something like that ... I just feel weird if I don't have something on my wrist.
“I don't know what it is. When I look down and don't see something, I feel naked.
“It just creeps me out.”
Last spring, his cousin called and said an old friend from high school — Washington can't remember his name, but said he plays for the New Orleans Saints — has an organization that provides wristbands. She asked what colors he wanted, and sent him the bands.
The one he wears on his left wrist is white and says, in crimson lettering, “Game changer.” The other band, which he wears on the right wrist, is red and says in white letters, “Success is contagious.”
“It's a daily reminder, whether I'm in workouts or in practice, I look down at my wrists,” Washington said. “What do you want to be remembered as? Do you want to be remembered as a game changer? Well, then let's go.”
UTEP LB IRVING LIKELY TO MISS OU GAME
UTEP senior linebacker Jamie Irving was supposed to make his return to the field Saturday against No. 4 Oklahoma after taking a medical redshirt last season.
Instead, it appears unlikely that Irving plays after missing his second straight practice Wednesday with back spasms, the El Paso Times reported.
Irving recorded 79 tackles as a junior in 2010, but a shoulder injury forced him to miss what should've been his senior season.
Junior A.J. Ropati will start in Irving's place if, as expected, he can't play.
Junior running back/slot receiver Roy Finch, on his deductive reasoning about kick returns and points versus yards:
“7 is better than 25.”