A season ago, Frank Shannon was Oklahoma’s leading tackler.
Saturday, Bob Stoops didn’t sound so sure Shannon would be a part of the team moving forward after the senior linebacker missed the spring game.
“Frank right now is working through some personal issues,” Stoops said. “So we’ll wait and see on that.”
Shannon also did not participate in OU’s practice Thursday.
The Sooners aren’t very deep at linebacker even with Shannon.
“We’re going to have to make some adjustments,” Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “I can’t really tell you at this point. Frank’s status, I’m not at liberty to discuss that. Our linebacker position is somewhere where we need to gain some depth. That’s a little bit scary for us.”
If he’s not available, sophomore Jordan Evans figures to be the beneficiary.
Evans looked solid Saturday in Shannon’s spot, including a big hit on freshman wide receiver K.J. Young that led to an interception.
Evans wouldn’t talk about the specifics of what a Shannon absence would do for him but said he had to be ready.
“Opportunities always come and you’ve always got to be ready for them,” Evans said. “You need to take advantage of them.”
GRISSOM, FLOWERS INJURED
Senior defensive end Geneo Grissom and freshman fullback Dimitri Flowers were each injured during Saturday’s spring game, but neither injury should be cause for too much concern, said coach Bob Stoops.
Grissom sprained his MCL and will be in a brace for six weeks, Stoops said, but won’t require any surgery.
Flowers, meanwhile, suffered what Stoops called a “hyperextension” that didn’t show any ligament damage. The early enrollee from San Antonio caught four passes for 40 yards.
“That's always the downside that can bother you in a spring game, to lose somebody,” Stoops said. “Fortunately, we got away with it and everybody should be set to start back when we do our primary conditioning and strength and speed training in June.”
Sophomore Baker Mayfield won’t be able to play for the Sooners this season after transferring from Texas Tech, but he took full advantage of Saturday’s game-like atmosphere.
The sophomore completed all nine of his passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
“I needed to get that experience and just have that in my mind and the stuff I need to work on heading into the summer and into the season where basically I’ll have another offseason,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield came to OU as a walk-on without having spoken to Sooners coaches.
“The players all love him. We do as a staff,” Bob Stoops said. “He’s fit in wonderfully here.”
Despite walking on at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders didn’t release him to transfer to OU, leaving him losing a season of eligibility this year and sitting out.
“Not at all,” Mayfield said when asked if it was fair to sit out a year despite not having a scholarship. “But it’s past that point and I’ve just got to focus on getting better.”
MIXON, QUICK AMONG SIGNEES ON HAND
Oklahoma hosted several recruits and 2014 signees Saturday, but none were more popular than running back Joe Mixon and receiver Michiah Quick. The two Californians who signed with OU in February signed countless autographs and posed for pictures with fans throughout Saturday’s event.
Mixon, a five-star running back, is expected to compete immediately to become Oklahoma’s starter in a backfield that lost Brennan Clay, Damien Williams and Roy Finch off last year’s team.
Sophomores Keith Ford and Alex Ross are considered the Sooners’ top two backs at the moment.
“From what I’ve heard, they’ve been doing a pretty good job,” Mixon said. “But I came over here to compete and play, so when I come in, I’ll have to be ready and produce and go to work.
“I just want to come, start and go to work. Do whatever I can to help my team win a championship.”
HUNNICUTT IMPRESSES WITH LONG FGS
Kicker Michael Hunnicutt appears to be stronger, making a 53-yard field goal with the gusty wind, while also nailing a 47-yarder against the wind.
“That was great,” Bob Stoops said. “Michael’s been excellent all spring. I think he was within an eyelash of being a first-team All-American a year ago, In fact, I know he was. I was on the voting deal listening to it. He’s set to have a big year.”
Stoops said the Sooners don’t often practice kicks from that far in practice, but he’s willing to attempt them in a game based on the situation.
“That’s one of those if you have a wind like today and we have a situation like we did at Kansas State a few years ago and you want to go for a big one, you do,” he said.
Hunnicutt was 24 of 27 on field goals last season, hitting a long of 47.
BROOKS MAKES DEBUT
Running back Daniel Brooks was on the field Saturday for the first time in his college career, and he made his presence known early with a big 33-yard gain on the fourth drive of the game.
“Daniel’s been a great worker for us,” Stoops said. “He had a nice game out there today. Definitely you see his cuts coming back and his speed.”
Brooks redshirted last season and missed the 2012 season with a torn ACL. He also briefly moved to defensive back before returning to the backfield.
He finished with 67 yards on eight carries.