Oklahoma sophomore defensive end Michael Onuoha isn't practicing and won't return to action until after the third game of the season, coach Bob Stoops said after practice Tuesday morning.
“We're excited about Michael,” Stoops said. “Michael had his operation in the spring and we're optimistic we'll get him back in the third game or so and there's a long year to play. If something happens to some other guys he's back in the mix maybe in the middle or early in the year where he's ready to help again.”
Later Tuesday, a source close to Onuoha told The Oklahoman that he had shoulder surgery and should start practicing again in mid-September.
According to the source, Onuoha's shoulder has bothered him for “a long time.”
The Edmond Santa Fe product played sparingly as a true freshman last season.
The news about Onuoha comes a day after Stoops revealed true freshman defensive end D.J. Ward isn't practicing, either, because of a “spleen issue.”
JOHNSON PRAISES METOYER
Sophomore cornerback Cortez Johnson heaped high praise on wide receiver Trey Metoyer, saying Tuesday that “he's going to be one of the best receivers, probably to ever come through OU.”
Metoyer entered his true freshman season in 2012 with high expectations, but fell out of the starting lineup after four games and ended up with only 17 catches, 148 yards and one touchdown.
“Trey Metoyer has the best hands on the team, that's why every play I'm trying to go against him, trying to get myself better, get myself reps with an opponent like that, if I ever face one like that,” Johnson said.
Johnson sat out last season after transferring from Arizona. He's expected to start opposite senior Aaron Colvin at cornerback to begin the season.
NDULUE PACKING ON POUNDS
Junior Chuka Ndulue spent the spring and summer adding weight he'll need to transition from playing defensive end to defensive tackle.
“Oh man, I feel fat,” Ndulue said with a laugh after practice Tuesday. “But it feels kind of good, though because I get to eat a lot and build it up. My mom hasn't seen me in about four months, so she's kind of going to be shocked. The last time she saw me, I was 256 (pounds), so it's going to be funny.”
Ndulue moved to tackle just before spring practices began because of a severe lack of depth at the position. He played in all 13 games last season at defensive end, starting 10, and led the team with five sacks.
Stoops on the quarterbacks' comfort level in early fall practices:
“I'm sitting back there paying attention to it, and I can see them processing every play and the ramifications of what they did and didn't do, but that's natural. That's why you just keep snapping it and snapping it, and hopefully you get them more and more comfortable with what you want them to do.”