OU football coach Bob Stoops pleased with Sooners' first practice

BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, jkersey@opubco.com Modified: August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm •  Published: August 4, 2011

“We're looking at Corey Nelson not only as the outside weak backer, but as the nickel outside strong backer. To us, it's always about getting your absolute best 11 on the field.”

STOOPS HAPPY WITH KICKERS ON DAY 1

Stoops said he was pleased with his kickers during Thursday's opening practice.

Jimmy (Stevens) was solid,” Stoops said. “Michael Hunnicutt was really night and day compared to a year ago. Tress (Way) hit a couple of 80-yard punts. They looked good.”

Stoops added that there were two walk-on kickers, both freshmen, working out with the scholarship players — Michael Hill, from Tarpon Springs, Fla., and Eric Hosek, from Sherman, Texas.

Stevens hit 19 of 23 field goals last season, with a long of 42 yards.

GETTING USED TO ALL-ACCESS CAMERAS

ESPN is in town documenting the Sooners' early preparations for the 2011 season.

How does Stoops feel about the “All-Access” cameras during practice?

“It takes a little to get used to it, but you forget about them really and just go about your business,” Stoops said. “Every now and then you've gotta tell one to get out of the middle of almost getting run over ... I don't want to get any of my players injured. I'm not worried about him so much.”

NOTEWORTHY

Stoops said the only major position change is true freshman Nila Kasitati, who was recruited as a tight end but is practicing with the offensive line as a guard. ... The Sooners didn't perform the usual first-day conditioning tests. Strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt didn't deem them necessary because of how the players handled their summer, Stoops said, adding that he believed it was the first time in his tenure that the team skipped those tests. ... Stoops said one of the team's academic advisors told the team this was “one of the best summers we've ever had” with regard to classwork. ... Junior running back Jermie Calhoun tore an ACL in the Sooners' win over Colorado last season, but was back in action during Thursday's practice. Stoops said he “was in really good shape. He's worked hard and it's good to see him back out there.”

Carlson: Prepare for an all-access pass to OU football


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