Oklahoma defensive lineman Jordan Phillips didn’t practice during the Sooners’ first of two sessions on Tuesday morning, but Phillips said it was nothing to be concerned about.
“It’s just a precaution thing,” Phillips said. “Everybody just wants to make sure I make it through the season and everything.”
Phillips suffered a progressive back injury last season that started in preseason camp and lasted until he was shut down following the Notre Dame game.
In those four starts, Phillips had seven tackles and was a disruptive force in the middle in the Sooners’ 3-4 defense.
He was awarded a medical redshirt following the season, but if Phillips stays healthy, there appears to be a good chance he would leave before needing the extra year.
“I’m very thankful that I’ve got it but I’m hoping that I don’t need it,” Phillips said of the extra year.
OU ATHLETICS GETTING A FOOD TRUCK?
OU Director of Sports Nutrition Tiffany Byrd is excited about the rules that went into effect Aug. 1 allowing both scholarship athletes and walk-ons — in any sport — unlimited meals and snacks.
Byrd said Tuesday one of the next steps the athletics program could take as they figure out how to manage feeding the athletes across campus is the addition of a food truck to take meals to the athletes.
“We actually are looking into a food truck,” Byrd said. “That was actually our athletic director, Joe Castiglione’s idea. We are probably going to have one for an enhanced fueling station. But we really have three prongs here at OU when it comes to the deregulation for the feeding.”
Byrd listed the three as an unlimited meal plan in Headington Hall and Wagner Hall, enhanced fueling stations on the south campus next to Lloyd Noble Center and under the football stadium and locker room recovery stations.
HAYES HAS HIGH GOALS
Quentin Hayes was sometimes the forgotten starter in the Sooners’ secondary last season with Aaron Colvin, Gabe Lynn and Zack Sanchez getting much of the attention.
But Hayes has high goals this season.
“I’d be good with about six interceptions,” Hayes said. “That’s my goal.”
Hayes had two interceptions last season — the only two of his career.
The fifth-year player is also embracing his new leadership role, saying he wanted to “be somebody the young guys can talk to and ask questions to and things like that.”
So far, he’s had the answers.
“We lean on him a lot,” Ahmad Thomas said. “He’s a veteran. He’s been here a lot. He’s like a captain.”
THOMAS, BYRD WORKING AT FREE SAFETY
Opposite of Hayes, the other starting safety position is open with the absence of Lynn.
Thomas and Hatari Byrd are rotating there now.
“It’s a big change,” Byrd said of the two making the leap from freshmen to sophomores. “We’re out there learning the defense. I’m out there making way more plays than I was making before. I’m out there playing comfortably now.”
Thomas is also working at free safety with Hayes and Steven Parker.