IKARD AN EXTRA COACH FOR DARLINGTON
Sophomore center Ty Darlington saw significant action late last season as a true freshman, even starting the Sooners' 42-34 win over Baylor in early November, when starter Gabe Ikard was out with a concussion.
In the last couple games of the year, Ikard shifted over to guard, allowing Darlington to enter the lineup.
Darlington said his relationship with Ikard has been one of the most important things in his development so far.
“He's like another coach for me, and he's my biggest fan, too,” Darlington said. “When I get in there, I tend to be really hard on myself. I tend to be overly critical of myself, so he's always telling me things I'm doing well.”
Ikard is expected to start his senior season as Oklahoma's center, but if he's needed, could easily move to another spot on the line.
GREEN WORKING TO IMPROVE TIGHT ENDS
Tight ends were noticeably absent from the Oklahoma offense in 2012, a strange anomaly for a program that has historically featured greatness at the position.
Brannon Green caught a touchdown pass in the season opening win at UTEP, but he only grabbed two more receptions the rest of the season.
This year, Green, a senior, and redshirt freshmen Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant are working under new position coach Jay Boulware to make the unit relevant again.
“We're making a lot of progress,” Green said. “He brings a whole other edge. We've learned a lot more with him. It's been great, making progress with all the guys and learning every day.”
Asked what has been new with Boulware, Green said: “Better steps, every play. Just reminding us, steps, hands, all the little things that help. We were (more) concerned about the bigger picture last year than the little things. This year, we're concerned about the little things and taking steps.”
Sophomore defensive end Charles Tapper on his potential this season:
“I'm just trying to be the best I can be. I'm working hard to make my team the best it can be. I'm trying to put another national championship up there, another Big 12 championship back on the wall.”