Wilson: O-line rotation about setOffensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said coaches are close to finalizing a two-deep rotation on the offensive line. The starters are left tackle Donald Stephenson, left guard Stephen Good, center Ben Habern, right guard Tyler Evans and right tackle Eric Mensik. Reserves who will see playing time are Jarvis Jones at backup tackle and Gabe Ikard, Bronson Irwin and Brian Lepak as interior reserves. Josh Aladenoye, strong in the running game, could earn time at tackle if he improves his pass protection. "The first group won't be taking 80 to 90 snaps a game. We're going to be taking 45, 50, 55,” Habern said. "Those twos will be rotating in, getting 30 to 35 plays. "Down the line in Big 12 play, we won't be getting beat up and worn down because we've been in for every play. We're going to be more rested. That's really going to help.” Coach Bob Stoops said more o-linemen will see action this season because competition is close. "If there's a big separation, a guy is physically mature and is able to handle it, then he plays 75 snaps and the other guy plays five,” Stoops said. "But if there isn't a lot of difference between 1 and 2, and it makes them both better and they're not physically able to handle 70, maybe he does really good with 45 and the other guy gets 25.”
Scout team QB not setQuarterbacks coach Josh Heupel said it hasn't been determined whether true freshman Blake Bell will be the scout team QB. Other options include sophomore walk-on Ben Sherrard and senior walk-on John Nimmo. During two-a-days, Heupel divided snaps among Landry Jones, Drew Allen and Bell. But next week is game week. Jones will receive the majority of practice snaps. "Sherrard has taken a bunch of scout-team work in the past,” Heupel said. "We'll see how it plays out after we find out where those other guys (Allen and Bell) are at.” If a team has a veteran quarterback, more practice reps can be given to backups. Jones, though, is only a sophomore. "A young quarterback needs those. He needs to see it to feel comfortable with what we're doing, recognizing defenses,” Heupel said.
Way a weaponAt the Sooner caravan earlier this month, when Stoops said OU regrouped to win its final two games last season despite a rash of injuries, he singled out punter Tress Way's school-record day against Oklahoma State. Way, a sophomore from Tulsa Union, averaged 58.8 yards a punt vs. OSU. For the season, he averaged a school-record 45.7 yards, third-best in the nation. Way averaged nearly 50 yards on his final 25 punts. "He can really change field position,” Stoops said. "He should continue to get better and improve. He has a huge leg. It's just continuing to refine his technique to be more consistent. If he does, he can be really special.”
Beal influencing J.R. WashingtonSophomore defensive end J.R. Washington, one of the top recruits from the 2008 class, said Jeremy Beal's work ethic and focus on techniques have shown him areas he must improve to make a significant contribution. "When I first got here I was thinking, 'I'm faster than him but he seems so much faster. How's he doing it?' ” Washington said. "It's because he's so prepared. He has his technique down. He knows what to do before they even do it. It allows him to play faster than some of us.”
Journalists chronicle tryoutLuke Atkinson, a senior broadcast major from Enid, was one of 30 to 40 OU students who participated in open tryouts on Thursday, writing a first-person story for the Oklahoma Daily. Contrary to rumors, it wasn't all kickers. Atkinson, who suffered a knee injury in high school, signed up for offensive line. "It probably was more like tight end,” Atkinson said. "I weighed 260 in high school. Now I weigh 195, but I blocked in high school. I really missed (football), so I told myself, 'One day I should try out.' It was a lot of fun.” Five kickers and two punters were invited back on Friday. One kicker will return Monday to "observe how we do things,” Stoops said, adding no one from the tryouts will play this season.
Two-minute drillAsked which d-lineman gave him the most trouble in camp, guard Tyler Evans chose Stacy McGee: "He has all those hand moves. It seems that stiff arm gets me every darn time,” Evans said. BY MIKE BALDWIN
Wilson: O-line rotation about set