Freshman DBs Hurst, Trice set to contributeNot since Reggie Smith and Nic Harris arrived in 2005 has a duo of Sooner freshmen defensive backs impressed the way Demontre Hurst and Marcus Trice have. "I really like those two guys,” said secondary coach Bobby Jack Wright, who revealed Tuesday that both will play prominent roles on OU’s defense. Hurst started the Sooners’ last scrimmage at cornerback and returned an interception for a touchdown. "He’s very instinctive,” Wright said. "Has a good feel and savvy for a freshman.” Trice is backing up Quinton Carter at free safety and will be part of OU’s nickel and dime packages. "He’s explosive, he’s fast and can cover a lot of ground,” Wright said. "A heady football player. He can find the ball as well as anyone I’ve seen for a true freshman.” Another true freshman defensive back, Javon Harris, also could be part of the secondary rotation, Wright said. Harris is currently working as a backup to Sam Proctor at strong safety. OU’s other two freshmen defensive backs, Gabe Lynn and Kevin Brent, have been dealing with injuries. Both have a lot of potential, but may end up redshirting. Brent had shoulder surgery in the spring and just returned to the practice field this week. Lynn has been battling a hip flexor injury since the beginning of camp.
Freshman lineman Evans will playIt remains to be seen which true freshmen see the field on the offensive side. Allen and wide receiver Jaz Reynolds are both pushing to avoid redshirts. But only one true freshman will definitely play. That’s 6-foot-5, 280-pound guard Tyler Evans of Strafford, Mo. Evans is being counted on to add depth to the interior of the offensive line at guard behind starters Brian Simmons and Stephen Good. Said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, "Tyler Evans has done well, and we will play him as a young guy.”
BYU injury count continues to riseThe injury bug refuses to leave, Provo, Utah. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, more than 30 Brigham Young players have suffered some kind of ailment this fall. The latest victim was preseason all-conference running back Harvey Unga, who suffered a hamstring injury in a non-contact passing drill Monday. Unga already was being held out of contact this fall as he recovers from catching swine flu during the summer. Coach Bronco Mendenhall, however, said he expects Unga to be back in time for BYU’s Sept. 5 opener with Oklahoma. Starting safety Scott Johnson was also injured this week, suffering a concussion during a collision with running back Manase Tonga in a scrimmage. "Scott was actually trying to clock Manase Tonga, but he lost the battle," Mendenhall said. Mendenhall said he wasn’t sure if Johnson will be ready for the OU game.
Backup QB battle still undecidedWith only a week and a half until the opener, Sooners coaches still aren’t ready to reveal who quarterback Sam Bradford’s backup will be. Both true freshman Drew Allen and redshirt freshman Landry Jones continue to compete for the spot. So far, neither has outshined the other. "They are doing well, but they still need work, and you still go back and appreciate how good Sam was as a second-year guy,” Wilson said. "We need them to heighten their sense of urgency, because there is a chance that they will play.”
Charity tailgate to be held at Roy Williams’ houseFormer Sooner safety and current Cincinnati Bengal Roy Williams will hold a pregame party in his backyard before OU’s Sept. 5 opener with BYU to raise money for his Safety Net Foundation. The barbecue tailgate will take place from 1-3 p.m. the day of the game at Williams’ house. The cost is $200 per individual and $300 per couple. For more information, call Bill Horn at (405) 409-2223. The Safety Net Foundation raises money to help low-income single mothers.
Two-minute drillWide receiver Dejuan Miller has made several plays in practice and is making a push for more playing time in OU’s undetermined wide receivers rotation. ... Cornerback Jamell Fleming has returned to practice from a back injury. ... Thunder owner Clay Bennett was at Tuesday’s practice and was given a tour of OU’s facility improvements in the Switzer Center. By Jake Trotter