Oklahoma got a bit of good news Saturday, with word that incoming freshman offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. has qualified academically and is on his way to Norman to join the team.
Brown, from Duluth, Ga., is a 6-foot-7, 340-pound prospect who had been committed to Tennessee before a signing-day switch to the Sooners.
The son of former NFL offensive lineman Orlando Brown, the younger Brown spent the summer working toward academic qualification at OU. He tweeted the news that he was heading to Norman on Saturday morning.
Only one of OU’s 2014 signees remains unaccounted for, defensive back Vontre McQuinnie. The Lancaster, Texas, prospect still hasn’t arrived on campus and there has been no word about his situation in months.
The only 2014 signee who definitely won’t make it to campus is Phoenix offensive guard Natrell Curtis, who already went the junior-college route.
WILSON AT CORNERBACK A POSSIBILITY
Oklahoma senior defensive back Julian Wilson didn’t participate in spring football while recovering from shoulder sugery, but said he plans to be in the mix to start opposite Zack Sanchez at cornerback.
Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops confirmed that coaches are considering the move. Sophomores Dakota Austin and Stanvon Taylor are the other top candidates for the cornerback spot replacing Aaron Colvin.
“He’s a big, long guy,” Stoops sad. “We still want to shore up our corner position, and he has the length and the speed. … It’ll be looked at pretty extensively, probably the first week, to see how he progresses and see if it’s going to be a long-term option or not.”
Wilson, a Southmoore product, started 11 games at nickelback last season, and made two starts as a sophomore in 2012. He’s appeared in 37 career games.
GUNDY: ALEX ROSS ‘MATURING’
Coaches and teammates raved about sophomore running back Alex Ross throughout spring football, and apparently the Jenks product’s momentum has carried over into summer workouts.
“You can walk into the weight room and talk to Jerry Schmidt and our strength staff and ask, ‘Who’s one of the hardest workers?’ … They’re gonna throw out Alex Ross,” said running backs coach Cale Gundy. “He’s always been that guy. He is growing up, he’s maturing, he’s more comfortable with the system and the offense.”
Ross (6-foot-1, 221 pounds) carried the ball three times for 19 yards last season as a redshirt freshman. The Sooners return very little experience in the backfield.
Sophomore Keith Ford, who had 23 carries for 134 yards and a touchdown last season, is the most experienced running back on the roster.
BOULWARE PRAISES BELL’S ‘SELFLESS ACT’
Oklahoma tight ends coach Jay Boulware had high praise for senior Blake Bell, who moved to the position after starting eight games at quarterback last year.
“That's a selfless act,” Boulware said. “That's something that some people can feed off of throughout the course of the year when they think, ‘Hey, I'm not getting a chance at this.'
“You just can't measure the impact that can have on your football team down the road.”
By all accounts, Bell looked good at his new position before suffering a knee injury during spring practices.
“Physically he looks the part,” Boulware said. “He’s just gotta get coached up and focused in on all the other things to go with that.”