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Sooners have option at center with Brody Eldridge

JAKE TROTTER Modified: September 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm •  Published: September 1, 2009
NORMAN — With permission from former Oklahoma center Jon Cooper, Brody Eldridge will be taking jersey No. 50 to Arlington, Texas, this weekend.

He’ll be taking his old jersey No. 83 to Cowboys Stadium, too.

Perhaps the most intriguing story line of Saturday’s game against Brigham Young will be how the Sooners use Eldridge, who, barring a dramatic change, will be in the starting lineup at center.

But with projected starting center Ben Habern, who battled an inflamed back for the first two weeks of fall camp, working back to form, the Sooners will have the option of playing Eldridge at both center and tight end.

An option they may utilize.

"We’ll have two sets of pads for him with a jersey attached to each,” coach Bob Stoops said Monday. "If we want to put him at tight end, and work some other guys, he can do that.”

When he plays on the offensive line, Eldridge will have to wear No. 50. But when he plays tight end, he’ll have to put on No. 83, in order to be considered an eligible receiver.

"Brody, as I have said the last two years, has been one of our best players,” Stoops said. "This allows him to be on the field even more.”

During his career, Eldridge has developed a reputation as being one of the Big 12’s best blockers, regardless of position. In 2007, even though he only played there sparingly, Eldridge was voted to the All-Big 12 first team as a fullback by the coaches.

Because of his blocking proficiency, the Sooners tried Eldridge out at center the first week of practice following Habern’s injury. Eldridge admitted that first week he kept waiting to be moved back to tight end.

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