NORMAN — Oklahoma's first quarterback battle in six years remains the most intriguing story line entering the 2013 season.
Here are three more things to watch during Saturday's spring football game on Owen Field.
1. Linebackers: After a rough 2012 season, Oklahoma's linebackers seem primed for a comeback. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops admitted to doing the unit an “injustice” last season, when he experimented with schemes that kept linebackers on the sideline. Sophomore Frank Shannon and senior Corey Nelson have said coaches are committed to them, and that could mean big things from the talented duo in 2013.
2. Newcomers: Early enrollee wideout Trey Metoyer was the star of last year's spring game. Could another newcomer — or two — be this year's spring standout? Wide receiver Dannon Cavil and safety Ahmad Thomas have each impressed coaches throughout spring practices. Also, watch for defensive end D.J. Ward, who should see some playing time after finally receiving NCAA clearance to practice Tuesday. Ward, who sat out his senior season of high school after an OSSAA ruling, was an All-State performer as a junior at Lawton High.
3. Offensive play-calling: Sooner coaches haven't divulged many of the new offensive wrinkles they're installing — “I'd have open practices if I wanted everyone to talk about what we're doing,” Bob Stoops said this week — but there will undoubtedly be changes to take advantage of better quarterback mobility. All three quarterback contenders are capable of moving outside the pocket and running with the football. Defenders won't be able to hit Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson or Trevor Knight on Saturday, but fans might get a small glimpse of what's to come next season.