Louisiana Tech wide receivers Carlos Henderson and Eddie Johnson have been suspended for the first two games of the season, including Saturday’s season opener at Oklahoma, Bulldogs coach Skip Holtz announced Wednesday.
Holtz said the suspensions were for a violation of team rules.
Johnson had four catches for 65 yards in nine games last season and also spent time working with tight ends during preseason camp.
Henderson redshirted last season. He was expected to be a deep threat for the Bulldogs but missed time recently with a knee injury.
BELL READY AT QB IF NEEDED
With backup Cody Thomas missing time in practice last week, quarterback-turned-tight end Blake Bell took a few snaps at his old position.
Bell said it came back to him pretty quickly for the most part.
“It’s just like riding a bike,” Bell said. “The first couple of times just out there throwing with the tight ends and stuff getting in our receiving drills, it’s like, ‘I can’t get my shoulder back there.’ It’s kind of different.”
Bell said he was ready if needed, especially in the “Belldozer” package, which coach Bob Stoops said could be used this year.
But he’s a tight end now barring something drastic.
“It wasn’t much,” Bell said of his quarterback work last week. “Just in case something crazy would happen. Everything’s good.”
SOONERS’, KNIGHT’S ODDS IMPROVING
Oklahoma’s odds to win the inaugural College Football Playoff and Trevor Knight’s odds of winning the Heisman Trophy have improved since just after the Sugar Bowl.
Bovada.lv released its final preseason odds for both earlier this week.
The Sooners are 10-to-1 to win the title, up from 20-to-1 on Jan. 7, just after the win over Alabama.
OU’s odds have dipped slightly in the last month, when they stood 9-to-1 on July 22.
Florida State at 4-to-1 is the favorite, followed by the Crimson Tide at 5-to-1. Oregon is 15-to-2 and Auburn is tied with the Sooners at 10-to-1.
Oklahoma State is 100-to-1 to win the title according to the site.
Knight’s odds of winning the Heisman are 18-to-1 going into the season. A few weeks after his Sugar Bowl Most Valuable Player performance, Knight was 25-to-1 to win the award.
Florida State’s Jameis Winston, last year’s winner, is the favorite again at 9/2, followed by Oregon’s Marcus Mariota at 5-to-1.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is 12-to-1.
GASTELUM THRILLED TO BE A PART OF OU
Walk-on linebacker Caleb Gastelum, now a fifth-year senior, said his acceptance as a walk-on for the Sooners was one of the biggest thrills of his life.
“I love the game,” Gastelum said. “I’ve loved the game since I was a kid. I used to watch Oklahoma way back in the day — Teddy Lehman days, Rocky Calmus days. I loved watching Oklahoma. I remember watching the national championship game against Florida State in my living room as a kid.
“It’s something that’s been pretty special to me.”
Gastelum has been a key contributor on special teams the last three seasons and could see in increased role on defense this season.
He’s listed as the backup behind Jordan Evans at one inside linebacker spot.
OU BAND BRINGING BACK PROGRAM BOOKS
University of Oklahoma athletic band director Justin Stolarik is bringing back an old tradition this season by producing a weekly program book for home football games.
The press books will contain information about the band and its formations for that week’s specific in-game performances.
These books aren’t going to be available for the general public at games, but are for media outlets to have information about the Pride of Oklahoma.
Press packets such as these were used by several previous band directors, especially in the days when halftime and pre-game shows were more likely to be aired during television broadcasts.
Stolarik’s packets are similar to those used by Leonard Haug in the 1950s, said director of university bands William Wakefield.