Freshman wide receiver Jordan Smallwood could be headed toward a redshirt season after undergoing foot surgery recently.
The Jenks graduate had surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury, a fracture of the foot near the base of the leg.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Smallwood might be forced to redshirt but he wasn't ruling out a return this season.
“We love him,” Stoops said. “He's a great looking kid, a great young man.
“He's going to have a great future.
ST. JOHN HEADING TOWARD OU
Junior-college offensive tackle Josiah St. John, one of the few incoming players not already on campus, is finally headed to Norman.
“On my way back 2 school this time I'm going to Oklahoma!” St. John posted on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
St. John (6-foot-6, 305 pounds) signed with the Sooners out of Trinity Valley Community College.
The Toronto native had been in Canada before traveling to Oklahoma, where practices begin early Thursday.
His junior-college teammate, defensive tackle Quincy Russell, has yet to arrive as well.
“I think we still have a few guys finishing some classes that we feel good and positive about,” Stoops said.
BOULWARE: ‘TIGHT ENDS STILL IN A REBUILDING PROCESS'
First-year Oklahoma assistant coach Jay Boulware couldn't provide a complete answer when asked about the Sooners' tight end situation entering the 2013 preseason.
“We've got guys who haven't played,” Boulware said. “It's still in a rebuilding process. Until we get to a point where we've got some guys here who have some experience on the football field, I'm encouraged by the guys in the room and their attitude and just the overall position.”
Last season, junior Brannon Green caught the only three passes by any OU tight end all year. It was — by far — the lowest production from the position on any of Stoops' Oklahoma teams, which have often included excellent tight end play from the likes of Trent Smith, Joe Jon Finley, Jermaine Gresham and James Hanna.
Green returns for his senior season, and he'll compete for playing time with redshirt freshmen Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant.
Senior fullback Trey Millard, whose versatility has made him one of the best players on the Sooners' current roster, could continue seeing some time at tight end in 2013, Boulware said, as could junior fullback Aaron Ripkowski.
“We're talking about having multiple guys in the room,” Boulware said. “Trey plays tight end for us. Ripkowski's another guy we're talking about putting in the room with us. The fullbacks and tight ends are essentially interchangeable, so we're doing the same things, coaching the same techniques.
“That's what you look for at the tight end position. You look for a guy who can do multiple jobs. You don't want a guy who can just do this, because if that's all he can do, then what's his value to an offense that's trying to tempo you? If we can do multiple things with our guys, we can leave our same personnel on the field and line up in different formations, and that's what we're looking for.”
STOOPS: SAD, HEARTBROKEN TO HEAR OF MANUKAINIU'S DEATH
Former Oklahoma commit Polo Manukainiu, who redshirted last year at Texas A&M and was expected to be in the Aggies' defensive rotation, was killed in a car accident in New Mexico on Monday.
Manukainiu, who graduated from Euless (Texas) Trinity High School, was traveling back to Texas from Utah. Gaius Vaenuku, who was set to play for Utah this fall, was also killed in the crash, as was Andrew Uhatafe. Vaenuku and Uhatafe were also from Euless.
“It's sad,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday afternoon. “You're heartbroken like anybody. It hits you in the gut for sure. All our prayers and thoughts are with his family.”
The driver and one passenger survived.
Manukainiu, a defensive end, committed to the Sooners in September 2011. By early December of that year, he was no longer committed to the Sooners and committed to the Aggies in January 2012.
Sooners sophomore offensive lineman Nila Kasitati was a high school teammate of Manukainiu's.
OU DEEMED ‘MOST OVERRATED' COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM BETWEEN 2008-12
Between 2008 and 2012, the Oklahoma football team has won three Big 12 championships, played in one national championship game and gone 3-2 in bowl games.
Still, according to a new Pollspeak.com list, the Sooners have been the most overrated major college football team during that time.
To compile its list of the most overrated and underrated teams, Pollspeak.com compared where each team was ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll with where it finished in the final rankings that year.
Over that five-season span, the Sooners were only underrated before the 2010 season, when they were ranked No. 7 and finished No. 6 after winning a Big 12 title and the Fiesta Bowl.
After Oklahoma, USC, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Nebraska rounded out the study's top-five most overrated teams.
Stanford, Cincinnati, TCU, Oregon and Utah were the most underrated teams, in order.