Oklahoma wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said the Sooners probably will travel five or six, maybe seven receivers on road trips. Norvell said it's too early to eliminate any of 10 candidates, including five incoming freshmen.
"Last year we had some guys start by default," Norvell said. "To start is something you earn by consistent play and playing at a high level. We have competition we did not have last year. Guys that were playing last year are finding out there's a lot more competition."
Preseason All-American Ryan Broyles is locked in as the starting slot receiver but will be moved around, playing all three receiver spots. Dejuan Miller and freshman Kenny Stills are the leading candidates for the other two starting spots.
Jaz Reynolds, Cameron Kenney and Brandon Caleb all recorded 13 or more receptions last season. Stills and four other freshmen (Justin McCay, Trey Franks, Joe Powell and Sheldon McClain) are in the mix.
Declining to single out players from Saturday's scrimmage, defensive coordinator Brent Venables said competition for several starting and reserve spots will continue, although a few veterans have solidified spots.
"It's a process," Venables said. "We have time to let guys show they're more consistent than the next guy. At key opportunistic times, that's when they have to show up. You don't want to judge on one day, one drill or one scrimmage. You compile it all and at the end of fall camp figure it out."
On Saturday's scrimmage Venables said: "There were definitely a lot more positives than negatives we can build on. We answered some questions and certain other things that we have to keep working on."
Defensive tackle Adrian Taylor, who is being eased back from a broken ankle suffered in the Sun Bowl, has not participated in any of three scrimmages. ... OU is ranked No. 12 in Sports Illustrated's preseason preview. SI predicts a 10-2 finish, 6-2 in conference, finishing behind Texas. ... The Sooners held a closed mini-scrimmage Tuesday and will conduct their final major scrimmage Thursday. ... OU cheerleaders are offering junior spirit sessions for students in grades one through six. Registration is Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon at McCasland Field House. A one-hour class costs $70. For information e-mail Lori Kemmet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DeMarco Murray on the improved running game: "Our line is doing a great job. They've been working hard every day, grinding, getting better. I think we'll be a lot better in the run game. You can't be one dimensional. You do that and they sit back in cover two and cover three (schemes) and cover your receivers. If you force them to load the box, it sets up the play action."