OU held walk-on tryouts Thursday afternoon, which brought out more than two dozen students who tried out for kicker.
"There was like 26 over there," said defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright, who joked he didn't have anyone come out for defensive line. "It's the first I've been anywhere where we've had a tryout this late. But hey, if we find a kicker out of it, I'm all for it. That would be great."
Coach Bob Stoops didn't address the media Thursday because he was running the kicking tryout. Earlier this week, Stoops wasn't pleased with the kicking competition — which has been going on all month between Patrick O'Hara, Jimmy Stevens, Bryce Easley and Michael Hunnicutt — and said he would be evaluating those who showed up at the tryout.
Freshman fullback Trey Millard 'a load'
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables was asked a question about freshman linebacker Corey Nelson the other day, but thought the question was about freshman fullback Trey Millard.
"Man, he's a load at fullback," Venables said. "We haven't had a load like that since J.D. (Runnels)."
Despite being on campus for only a couple of months, Millard has impressed everyone and is OU's starter at fullback ahead of redshirt freshman Marshall Musil.
"Millard's been a better blocker," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "He's probably the most skilled guy, and he's blocked better than Brandon Crow and Marshall Musil. Right now, he's still a freshmen and learning, but he's 250 and he does have speed and he stumbles into good blocks. He's still learning how to do it right every time but he's got a chance."
Kevin Wilson: freshman tight end Austin Haywood OU's best pass-catching tight end
Austin Haywood, a freshman tight end out of Southmoore High School, is still learning the plays. Still learning how to block. Still learning the speed of the college game.
But one thing he can do well already is catch the ball downfield. Perhaps better than any other Sooner tight end. Which is why he's might see time in OU's tight end rotation.
"He is really good in the passing game," Wilson said. "He is still learning how to block, and learning who he has. Not necessarily in the run game, but in protection what adjustments he has to make. Those other guys (Trent Ratterree, James Hanna) are a little bit cleaner.
"But as far as running in space and catching, feeling routes and knowing where to settle and catching a football, he is our best tight end."
Haywood is still making "some errors," which is natural of a freshman. But Wilson sees similarities with Haywood in former All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham.
"There are some errors that would really haunt us," Wilson said. " It is not that he can't block, but it is just processing and knowing what he is doing. It is harder than you think and it is just hard.
"So, we will work him in and we will keep him moving, but it will be a slight move at a time. Jermaine was kind of like that because we used his catching skills and as we kept going that first year he got more and more involved.
"Austin is not the next Jermaine. But he is a skilled receiver."