OU football notebook

Published: August 12, 2008
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Williams battling back at defensive end
Thanks to up-and-coming defensive ends such as sophomore Jeremy Beal and redshirt freshman Frank Alexander, veteran John Williams often gets overlooked.

Williams is returning for a sixth year after an Achilles injury halted his season a year ago, when he opened as a starter.

With so many young players at the position, defensive ends coach Chris Wilson is glad Williams is around again to provide experience.

"John's really been playing well,” Wilson said. "The one thing that John does — he's been here six years — the one thing that John does is he knows our system.

"The thing with John is keeping him healthy and keeping him consistent. That's been the biggest thing, and he's doing well right now.”

•Holmes adjusting to cornerback: One of the surprises this preseason was the move of senior Lendy Holmes from free safety to cornerback. Holmes played cornerback two years ago, when he was an honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection, but played free safety last season and this past spring.

"We're trying to create competition,” defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. "Lendy's been really good at corner, which is not surprising. But like anything, you have to relearn a lot.”

Holmes' relocation has meant that sophomore Dominique Franks has returned to a backup role, while redshirt freshman Sam Proctor has been placed in the starting lineup at strong safety.

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