For Justin Brown, the opportunity to work with a quarterback who has experienced success like Landry Jones has is exciting, he said Monday.
Brown, a senior wide receiver who transferred from Penn State, is already making a big impression on his teammates and coaches. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound wideout comes from a more run-oriented offense, but he did show an ability to make big plays last year when he had opportunities.
He was also dealing with uncertainty and changes at the quarterback position throughout the season.
Last year, Brown spent some time in the slot because of injuries, although his big frame would seem more suited for a position split out wide. OU is, of course, seeking to replace its main slot guy from last year, now-Detroit Lion Ryan Broyles.
True freshman Sterling Shepard is expected to see time in the slot, and junior Kenny Stills has also worked there, in addition to playing outside in practices, a source said.
Stills tried his hand at slot last year after Broyles' season-ending ACL tear, but he struggled to develop the same chemistry with Jones that Broyles had.
KISH: WORT DINGED UP, STILL PRACTICING
Linebackers coach Tim Kish said junior Tom Wort, who has battled various injuries during his OU career, is a little dinged up during practices, but that it isn't serious enough to keep him off the field.
“We're trying to give everybody equal reps to keep him fresh,” Kish said. “At the same time, he needs those reps, so it's a fine line to how much you involve him in the camp.”
Kish said the minor issues with Wort are related to his back, ankle and shoulder.
“He's got all kinds of nicks, and that's typical for what you have as a football player,” Kish said. “It's just stuff that's got to heal. And it's tough to heal when you're going through camp. But he's got to play.”
GABE IKARD HOLDS OFFENSE TOGETHER
Last season, when coach Bob Stoops needed a center, he counted on Gabe Ikard. Then, he had Ikard play three positions (right and left guard and center in a single game.) When Stoops needed a center this year, he looked to Ikard again.
The question keeps circulating: Why Ikard? He's smart, Stoops answered. Talented. Hungry. And according to Jamarkus McFarland, he's the one picking everybody up.
“Gabe Ikard's really playing his part,” McFarland said. “Guys go down, offensive linemen and stuff, he's really picking them up.”
SPECIAL TIME FOR SPECIAL TEAMS
Tress Way smiled the entire time he talked about the kicking unit. Way and kicker Michael Hunnicutt worked together on their flexibility over summer.
“Man, that kid is really killing the ball,” Way said of Hunnicutt.
Way spoke highly of his long snapper, Daniel Franklin, also. The senior worked with a medicine ball in the shape of a football during the offseason.
“Daniel Franklin's been shootin' 'em back,” Way said. “I like them coming fast so I can kind of take my time.”