OU football notebook: Because of injuries, tight end Brody Eldridge is working at center

JAKE TROTTER Modified: August 11, 2009 at 11:38 am •  Published: August 11, 2009
With Oklahoma's top two centers battling nagging injuries, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson has had to get creative in furnishing his first-team offensive line.

At the moment, with starting center Ben Habern dealing with a flaring muscle in his back and top reserve Brian Lepak out at least another week with a high-ankle sprain, Wilson has tight end Brody Eldridge working at center with the first-team offense.

“If we were playing today, and Ben is limited and Lepak is limited, who's your center? It's probably Brody,” Wilson said Monday. “It's natural for Brody. Blocking is blocking. Hopefully we don't have to do it a whole lot.

“But that's something that you have to be ready for."

However, because the Sooners are loaded at tight end with All-American Jermaine Gresham among others and because of Eldridge's solid showing on the line thus far in camp, Wilson, didn't rule out the idea of playing Eldridge at either guard or center in spots this season.

“Another reason for moving him there is getting him on the field,” Wilson said. “If we're in a one-back set, am I going to leave Brody on the field, and not put Jermaine out there? But Brody is too good not to play. Whether he's at center or guard, he may be there.”

Habern was in full pads Monday, but hasn't been able to take part in all of the contact drills.

Habern said he's day-to-day, but expects to be back on the field at 100 percent perhaps by the end of the week.

“I know that's just one of those injures that will keep flaring up if you don't let it rest,” Habern said. “I got some reps in today, some individual work, it started feeling really good. I was hitting people and didn't it hurt or anything. The trainers are going to let me do more every day.”


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