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Oklahoma football: Strength coach Jerry Schmidt optimistic about Sooners' leadership and newcomers

by Jason Kersey Published: August 2, 2014

Possibly the most notable newcomer on Oklahoma’s roster this season is highly touted but troubled wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who transferred from Missouri after being dismissed in April.

The former five-star prospect joined Oklahoma’s football team in early July. When he began summer workouts, he was in “terrible shape,” Schmidt said.

“He was in the trash can quite a bit,” Schmidt said. “To me going into it, I thought this guy is going to be a pain and throw our whole karma off as far as leadership and all that stuff. He responded to it. … He said, ‘I’m gonna get there coach.’

“Sometimes guys like that have kinda cruised through because they can kinda get by on their talent.”

Shepard, who has emerged as the inexperienced wide receiver group’s clear leader, confirmed Schmidt’s assessment of Green-Beckham’s physical shape when he first arrived in Norman.

“When you come to Oklahoma, it’s a lot different than most places,” Shepard said. “He had to work a little bit harder when he came here. He was kinda hurting, but he got the hang of it, and when he got the hang of it he was just fine.”

Now that the Sooners are three days into fall practices, Schmidt’s day-to-day interactions with the team have decreased substantially. He said things didn’t change all that much this summer, despite amended NCAA rules that allowed the coaching staff to supervise summer workouts.

“What makes me successful is the power that (the coaching staff) gives me,” Schmidt said. “It’s good for our players to get away from the position coaches and vice versa. It’s good for them to get away from me now, because I’ve been a pain in the (butt) for about eight weeks.”