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OU football: Sooners have questions in some areas, answers in others

The starting lineup for Oklahoma heading into football two-a-days seems set except for a few spots.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Published: April 15, 2012

“Obviously, there's been a learning curve from the football standpoint. He continues to go through that. But he's to the point of really exploding and becoming a really good football player. He's strong, he's explosive. He has good speed. He loves to play, a great practice player.”

Shannon is vying for a spot on the two-deep. The Dallas Skyline product and senior linebacker Aaron Franklin both made an impression this spring. Franklin recorded five tackles in the spring game.

“They both have good feet, they're tough,” Stoops said. “They play hard. They're very conscientious. They're going to play.”

In the secondary, Lamar Harris, a senior, and junior Joe Powell showed potential at cornerback.

Harris was the starting cornerback opposite veteran Demontre Hurst in the spring game, but Colvin could land there. Powell, a former wide receiver, is making enough plays to get noticed.

On offense, left guard Adam Shead will be listed as a backup heading into two-a-days when senior center Ben Habern returns from a neck injury.

Gabe Ikard is expected to move back to left guard, but Shead, a sophomore, started five games last season. Shead arguably has played as well as any offensive linemen.

Daryl Williams, a sophomore, was the opening game starter last season. When he suffered an ankle injury, Johnson seized the job. Williams reestablished himself this spring.

Veterans on the O-line with more than 100 combined career starts will have to earn their way. Six or seven linemen are capable of starting, but there are only five spots.

Even though he'll be the “fourth” offensive tackle, probably a year away from playing a key role, Derek Farniok (6-foot-9, 325 pounds) created a buzz.

“Derek Farniok has had a huge winter and spring,” Stoops said. “He's really come on, doing a nice job. He's where you want him to be and getting better.”

The Sooners broke in two tight ends this spring. Freshman Taylor McNamara made progress and compiled three catches in the spring game. But it's Green who is the projected starter.

Green, 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, compiled only 15 receptions last season at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. He was viewed as more as a blocker.

“We recruited him because of his size and toughness, but he's really caught the ball well,” Stoops said. “That's been a positive. He has great hands. He's made all kinds of grabs, which is exciting.”