OU football notebook: Tress Way learned valuable lesson

by Michael Baldwin Published: April 17, 2012

Oklahoma senior punter Tress Way averaged a respectable 42.0 yards per punt last season, but it was a drop-off from his 44.0 and 45.7 averages his first two seasons.

In the Insight Bowl, he averaged 50.3 yards on six punts.

“After talking my dad and Michael Hunnicutt they said, ‘You have one of the strongest legs in the nation, just go out and play,' ” Way said. “The Insight Bowl, it got back to being fun again. Every punt isn't going to be perfect. If I just relax and hit it smooth I know I can change the field.”

Part of the explanation for a slight dip was that Way perfected pooch punts. He was among the national leaders in kicks downed inside the 20-yard line.

Way said he also overanalyzed his technique.

“Last season there were a lot of expectations for me,” Way said. “Nobody expected more out of me than myself. I was really critiquing myself on my mechanics, my form. I forgot to go out and just love the game and play.”

IKARD ON THE MOVE AGAIN?

Junior Gabe Ikard played center exclusively this spring but might move back to left guard during two-a-days when senior center Ben Habern returns from a neck injury.

“If I end up playing guard in the fall it would (have been) better to get reps at guard, but blocking is blocking,” Ikard said. “Ben is out with a neck injury and you can't do anything about that.”

The McGuinness product pushed his way into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman at left guard. He started seven games at center last year when Habern was sidelined by a broken forearm.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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