Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has done plenty of bragging on Blake Bell since the senior decided to switch from quarterback to tight end after last season.
Saturday at OU’s Media Day, Stoops continued, with one addition.
Asked if Bell would start the Sooners’ first game, against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 30, Stoops wouldn’t be definitive. But he didn’t downplay it either.
“Oh, there’s a good chance of that depending on what else happens,” Stoops said.
He also said Bell looked “like he’s played it his whole life.”
Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was also high on Bell’s transition.
“He dramatically changes the ability for play-action passes in the middle of the football field because of his size and length,” Heupel said. “That’s a huge target we haven’t had here since we lost James Hanna.”
Bell said he was happy to have a chance to contribute, wherever it was.
“I just want to play football,” Bell said. “Getting your hand down in a stance is hard for a little bit but other than that, it’s just running around, seeing coverages, having fun, trying to block guys.
“It’s been tough but it’s all good.”
SHANNON SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS
Oklahoma junior linebacker Frank Shannon was the subject of a Title IX sexual misconduct investigation after a female OU student accused him of sexually assaulting her in his off-campus apartment more than six months ago.
Shannon was never charged in criminal court, but didn’t participate in the Sooners’ April spring game while he was being investigated. He went through summer workouts with the team and on Saturday, participated in Meet the Sooners Day, signing autographs for young fans.
The junior wasn’t made available to reporters a few hours later during media day, though.
“Nothing’s changed in his situation,” Stoops said during his Saturday news conference. “Right now they haven’t resolved anything. He’s currently doing everything he had been doing. That’s what hasn’t changed.”
Shannon, the leading tackler on last year’s Sugar Bowl champion team, is still working his way through a lengthy appeals process relating to the university’s Title IX investigation.
HUMPHREY COMMITS TO SOONERS
Oklahoma picked up a commitment from three-star wide receiver John Humphrey on Saturday, when the League City, Texas, native was on an unofficial visit.
Humphrey — from Clear Falls High School in League City, Texas — also holds scholarship offers from Arkansas, Baylor California, Clemson, Louisville, Ole Miss, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon State, TCU and Texas Tech. He was committed to Baylor between April and June.
The 6-foot, 160-pound receiver is the Sooners’ 10th commitment in its 2015 recruiting class, and the first wideout in the group. Humphrey also becomes Oklahoma’s seventh commitment from the state of Texas.
Rivals ranks Humphrey as the 88th-best wide receiver in the country for the recruiting class of 2015. He is also a standout defensive back, and Baylor was considering playing him on defense.
Humphrey is also an accomplished track star. He runs the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and is on a relay team for Clear Falls.
ONUOHA NOT WITH TEAM
Redshirt sophomore defensive end Michael Onuoha won’t play this season.
“Academic reasons,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said when addressing Onuoha’s absence.
Onuoha missed all of last season with a shoulder injury after playing four games as a true freshman in 2012.
NORVELL: QUICK COULD PLAY … QUICKLY
With just one receiver returning with significant experience — junior Sterling Shepard — the Sooners are in need of young, inexperienced receivers making big strides over the next month.
OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said freshman wide receiver Michiah Quick was a strong candidate for fast playing time.
“Quick’s probably a little bit closer to playing at this point than any of them,” Norvell said when discussing the freshman receivers.
Norvell raved about the freshman from Fresno, Calif., moments before.
“Quick is just like his name,” Norvell said. “He’s very quick. Very mature player. You always hate to have comparisons to other players but he learns things easily and quickly.
“He has those kinds of qualities, which really is exciting.”
STOOPS TALKS UP DEEP SNAPPER
Deep snappers typically don’t get a tong of publicity and coaches rarely bring up their names unless it’s to talk about a mistake.
But Stoops on Saturday brought up OU’s freshman deep snapper when running through the standouts from the first three days of camp.
“Wesley Horky is a magnificent long snapper if there can be such a thing,” Stoops said. “He snaps is back there with a spiral every time and just your operation time has been reduced significantly when you have a guy that can do that and that really helps you protect. He’s really consistent with it.”