Junior linebacker Frank Shannon was nowhere to be found at Thursday’s open practice for OU students.
Sophomore Jordan Evans, a former Norman North standout, replaced Shannon when he was injured last season, and played with the first-team defense for the entire open portion of practice Thursday.
“He's sick,” said linebackers coach Tim Kish. “Hopefully he'll be back out here on Saturday.”
Shannon has started 25 games over the past two seasons, including all 13 last year, and has recorded 132 career tackles.
AUSTIN BELIEVES HE’S LEADING CB BATTLE
Sophomore Dakota Austin said he was in the thick of a preseason cornerback battle with Zack Sanchez last fall, and that experience has helped him through the spring.
This time, Austin is battling fellow sophomore Stanvon Taylor and junior Cortez Johnson to start opposite Sanchez in 2014.
“I feel like I'm winning, but anything can happen,” Austin said. “You've gotta stay humble in something like this. You can't ever think it's just over because that's when somebody's gonna come get you. I've just gotta stay humble and hungry, which I am, and just keep working hard.”
Austin, a Lancaster, Texas, native, appeared in five games as a true freshman in 2013, recording his first career interception in the Sooners’ 48-10 home win over Iowa State on Nov. 16.
He was also the player OU coaches inserted into the Sugar Bowl when former All-Big 12 performer Aaron Colvin had to leave the game for one play.
Asked what he learned from Colvin, Austin said, “Instincts and just saying poised. Just learning the speed of the game. That's really the main thing, film, and picking up on things that the other team likes to do. He was really heavy on film and I want to adopt that to my game.”
STOOPS LIKES SPRING GAME FORMAT
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wasn’t in the mood Tuesday to debate the merits of playing a spring game vs. not playing one, but did say he enjoys the annual event.
“I love every time we get to go out and play,” Stoops said. “That's one of them. Necessity or not? No, I'm not getting into that whole debate. That's not for me to say.