A couple of Oklahoma players who were expected to miss the spring will get to participate, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Monday.
Receiver Jaz Reynolds and fullback Aaron Ripkowski have both been cleared to practice. Both were thought to be out, after Reynolds suffered a kidney injury and Ripkowski injured his back late in the season.
On the opposite end of the surprise spectrum, Stoops said safety Aaron Colvin (shoulder), linebacker Tom Wort (ankle) and defensive tackle Casey Walker (shoulder) will miss parts or all of the spring.
Wort was in uniform Monday, even if he was not allowed to participate fully.
In addition, it's been known that running back Dominique Whaley (ankle) and center Ben Habern (neck) will be out. Stoops did say that both are progressing well.
JONES CONFIRMS FIRST-ROUND GRADE FROM NFL
Senior quarterback Landry Jones confirmed he did receive a first-round grade from the NFL's Draft Advisory Board.
He said it came on a note congratulating him, but it did not offer much information beyond the round. (He said he thought it might indicate which part of the first round, but it did not.)
Jones, already the school's all-time leading passer, decided Jan. 5 to return, despite saying he planned to wait closer to the Jan. 15 deadline.
“The NFL's always going to be there,” he said. “I wanted to come back and enjoy my senior year.”
ALEXANDER SAYS HE HAS NO HEART CONDITION
Frank Alexander missed the on-field portion of last week's NFL Combine after doctors found what they believed to be a heart condition. The reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year said Monday, though, that he is fine.
“GOD IS GOOD! The doctors found nothing!” Alexander said on Twitter. “I have NO heart conditions! Thank all y'all for the prayers and support. Ready to (be) back at it!”
With that conclusion, it seems as if Alexander will be able to participate in OU's March 14 Pro Day.
Former linebacker Travis Lewis likely will, as well. Lewis bowed out of the Combine after running a lackluster 4.88 40-yard dash. He claimed a leg injury, but Stoops he was “yes and no” surprised by the slow time.
“We see a lot of our guys,” he said, “so very little surprises us.”
SOONERS HAVE SPECIAL TEAMS COACH, AFTER ALL
Stoops appeased those clamoring for him to hire a special teams coach by informing everyone that he has one. It's defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright, turns out. Has been since assistant Chris Wilson left.
“I always have (had a special teams coach),” he said. “Coach Wright is our special teams coordinator. I don't know why people think we don't have one, but we do.”
Stoops said Wright assigns the other assistants areas of concentration.
“Well, he's responsible for them all, ultimately, but we do have different … all our coaches work them,” he said. “We have three or four people on every one – just like everybody else.”
Stoops did say if he could add a 10th assistant, it would be a special teams-specific position.
STOOPS TALKS SCHEDULE, COMPLIMENTS HIS BOSS
Stoops complimented athletic director Joe Castiglione with doing the best he could to put together the 2012 schedule. With TCU going from a non-conference to conference game, it created a lot of headaches for Castiglione.
“I tried everything,” said Castiglione, leaving today to work with the NCAA's basketball selection committee.
OU wound up with a road game (at UTEP) to start the season, followed by a home opener against an FCS school (Florida A&M). It could have been worse, though. The Sooners avoided two FCS teams, for one.
Florida State called wanting a game. Stoops said OU would have considered it, but FSU wanted the Sooners to return to Tallahassee for a second consecutive year.
“They didn't seem to want to come here,” he said. “We didn't need to go there again, did we?”