Quarterback Landry Jones attended Media Day sans mustache. That will soon change.
"I had a full beard yesterday," Jones said. "I shaved for Media Day for my Mom. She wanted me to look good in the pictures. (My girlfriend) Whitney (Hand) also likes me clean shaven. But I have to grow it back. Sooner Nation needs the 'stache."
Senior Eric Mensik, who started the final three games last season, one at tight end, two at offensive tackle, opens two-a-days as OU's starting right tackle. Mensik was a tight end his entire career until late last season.
"If you had told me as a freshman I'd be playing on the O-line, I'd have said you're crazy," Mensik said. "I came in as a freshman at 231. I'm 290 now. I've gained 60 pounds."
Mensik said his weight-gain diet included eating everything: hamburgers, ice cream and candy. But he quickly pointed out: "I also eat the good stuff like fruit. But I got to splurge a little because I had to gain the weight."
Ronnell Lewis primarily played on special teams last season. He recorded six tackles in his first start in the Sun Bowl. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables said the staff will find ways to get Lewis on the field at linebacker, maybe defensive end.
"We've got to give him what he can handle," Venables said. "You ask anybody to play multiple positions, then all the sudden the advantages they have with their power, strength, speed and playmaking ability, those attributes can be dumbed down to a certain degree."
Venables added: "He's the most violent hitter I've been around. I haven't been all over the place, but I've been hearing that from players that he's as violent as they come. Loves to play. Loves to be coached. He's a very hungry, humble young guy."
Safety Quinton Carter said watching Lewis, 235 pounds, play defensive end the first practice was interesting.
"He kind of looked like a bear down there," Carter said. "That's all you could really say about him. I asked some of the running backs, 'If you get call to his side, what do you think is going to happen?' That's a scary place to run."
Coach Bob Stoops said the team reported for two-a-days in good shape following summer workouts.
"They looked great on their conditioning tests," Stoops said. "We run two 300-yard shuttles timed. All but a few guys really ran well. I was very pleased as an overall team the way we ran and competed. The guys look great. They were anxious to get back on the field.
"I really feel great about the (upcoming) year. Our players have had a great attitude leading up to (two-a-days). Unfortunately, the way things unfolded a year ago, we got a ton of experience with guys that we wouldn't have had if we didn't have all the injuries. I'm not asking for the injuries. It happened. But in the end, hopefully it will pay off for us this year with the experience we gained."
Marrow donors needed
Catherine "Cady Bear" Ware, 6, was a special guest at Media Day. Ware, from Pawhuska, is battling thrombocytopenia (bone marrow failure). Stoops encouraged staff and the football team to become marrow donors.
Only 30 percent of more than 10,000 Americans that need marrow transplants find a family member who is a matched donor. The Oklahoma Blood Institute coordinates registry and facilitates marrow donations, a process that takes 10 to 15 minutes.
"We need to get awareness out there," said Carma, Catherine's mother. "Since we've started to do this the past few weeks it's snowballed."
Mary Bledsoe, her nephew Benjamin, 8, and daughter Holly Gonzalez were first in line for autographs, arriving at 5:30 a.m. Bledsoe lives in Katy, Texas, an eight-hour drive to Norman. They left Thursday evening.
"We've come the past four years," Bledsoe said. "We really enjoy this. My daughter got in early with Kid's Club to get Landry's autograph with my grandson. We also want to get DeMarco (Murray's) autograph and a couple of other players."
Kid's Club members were allowed to enter at 10 a.m., the general public at 10:30 a.m. The longest lines were running backs and wide receivers, longer than Stoops' line.