Jay Bulldogs football
|6 - 5||2 - 3||4 - 2||.545||273||227|
|2013-09-06||vs||Vinita||L||7 - 13|
|2013-09-13||vs||Grove||W||13 - 9|
|2013-09-20||@||McDonald County. Mo.||W||27 - 12|
|2013-09-27||@||Hilldale||L||14 - 36|
|2013-10-04||vs||Lincoln Christian||L||21 - 38|
|2013-10-11||vs||Locust Grove||L||3 - 40|
|2013-10-17||@||Westville||W||45 - 6|
|2013-10-25||vs||Seq. Tahlequah||W||48 - 14|
|2013-11-01||@||Keys (Park Hill)||W||42 - 6|
|2013-11-08||@||Blackwell||W||40 - 16|
|2013-11-15||@||Checotah||L||13 - 37|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
|There are no players associated with this team.|
Jay football News
NewsOK articles about Jay football, or articles mentioning current or former Jay football players.
Jay High School Varsity Boys Football
Sep 30, 2014
No one questions Sterling Shepard’s fantastic skills at wide receiver, but so far this season, he’s struggled in his newest role as a punt returner. Special teams coordinator Jay Boulware said there’s nothing to be too concerned about. “He’s new back there,” Boulware said. “Some guys are new and they drop the ball. Some guys are new and it takes them a little while to know when they can take it...
Oklahoma football: Jay Boulware defends Sterling Shepard
By Jason Kersey and Ryan Aber | Sep 30, 2014No one questions Sterling Shepard’s fantastic skills at wide receiver, but so far this season, he’s struggled in his newest role as a punt returner. Special teams coordinator Jay Boulware said there’s nothing to be too concerned about. “He’s new back there,” Boulware said. “Some guys are new and they drop the ball. Some guys are new and it takes them a little while to know when they can take it and when they can’t. Whatever those things are, I mean, he’s a phenomenal football player as we all well know. “He’s doing a good job catching it, so he’ll work his way through anything else that might be coming up in terms of getting a better feel back there.” So far this season, Shepard has six returns for 40 yards, and the Sooners rank 102nd in the nation in punt returns. PERINE HAPPY HIGH SCHOOL TEAMMATE JOINING HIM AT OU True freshman running back Samaje Perine said he’s excited that he’ll be joined next season by an old high school teammate. Hendrickson High cornerback P.J. Mbanasor committed to the Sooners in early June. Mbanasor and Perine played together at the Pflugerville, Texas, school. “I know him quite well,” Perine said. “He told me when he was committing and we talked about the recruiting process he went through. As many offers as he had, it was great to see him commit to us this early. “Hopefully, he’ll stay with that. He’s a guy of his word. He’s a great guy.” STOOPS NOT WORRIED ABOUT RUN/PASS SPLIT Oklahoma’s offense has been fairly balanced this season — 151 rushing plays vs. 135 passing plays and 891 rushing yards to 1,089 passing yards. But Sooners coach Bob Stoops isn’t worried about the numbers lining up in any way. “I couldn’t care less,” Stoops said. “I’d like to score 50 a game and that’s all I’d be concerned about. “Whenever we say we want to be balanced, it isn’t 50/50. You want to be effective running and throwing just so that if somebody in a particular way tries to defend you that you can take advantage of them. That’s what we mean by being balanced.” QUOTABLE Freshman fullback Dimitri Flowers, on what he’s learning from senior Aaron Ripkowski: “To hit. Rip can hit and that’s no surprise. Coming from high school, I ran the ball and caught ball 90 percent. Here, you actually have to block.”
Sep 28, 2014
Until the past couple weeks, McAlester senior Dalton Wood’s chances to play big-time college football didn’t look good — and through no fault of his own. “Me and my family were starting to get worried,” Wood said. “Everyone has always said that I’ve got the potential to play D1, but I wasn’t getting any calls […]
Oklahoma football: McAlester's Dalton Wood commits to Sooners
Jason Kersey | Sep 28, 2014Until the past couple weeks, McAlester senior Dalton Wood's chances to play big-time college football didn't look good -- and through no fault of his own. "Me and my family were starting to get worried," Wood said. "Everyone has always said that I've got the potential to play D1, but I wasn't getting any calls or any of that." Heart surgery to correct a rare birth defect cost Wood virtually his entire sophomore season. A midseason broken ankle meant missing most of his junior campaign. And all the while, he was playing quarterback, a position Wood knew he would never play at the next level. None of that matters now, though. After the fourth game of his senior year, Wood finally received his first Division I scholarship offer from Oklahoma this weekend and quickly accepted it. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound McAlester star will play tight end for the Sooners. He is the 14th member of Oklahoma's 2015 recruiting class. "I didn't expect OU at all, but that's where I wanted to go the most," Wood said. "My whole family has always been for OU. "This has been crazy. It's all happened in the last two weeks." Wood fainted in the first game of his sophomore season and was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Those suffering from WPW -- about one in 2,000 people -- have an extra electrical pathway in their heart, which can cause rapid heartbeat and, as a result, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting. Wood underwent a nine-hour surgery that fixed the problem, and returned the next season as McAlester's starting quarterback. Early in 2013, though, Wood suffered a broken ankle that cost him five games of that season. "He's really only played in about 14 games in his career," said McAlester coach Bryan Pratt. "It seems like he's been around forever, but as far as game experience, he's still getting better each week because he just hasn't played in that many games." Another big problem that's cost him in recruiting is the fact that he's playing quarterback for the Buffaloes. "I know I'm not a college quarterback," Wood said. "I'm too big. I just play quarterback for high school because that's where they need me." The past couple of weeks, Pratt has worked in some offensive packages that have allowed Wood to play other positions, and he's shined. In a 42-21 win against Pryor on Sept. 19, Wood rushed for three touchdowns and returned a punt 70 yards for another score. That gave Pratt some film to send out to college coaches, and the reaction was pretty swift. Oklahoma tight ends coach Jay Boulware and Oklahoma State receivers coach Jason Ray attended McAlester's game against Durant on Friday, when Wood rushed for 214 yards and two touchdowns -- one of which was a 92-yard run -- and caught an 18-yard score. OU jumped on board, offering Wood a scholarship that he quickly accepted. "This is good, but it's something for the future," Wood said. "I've still gotta worry about this year and my high school team, and take care of business there."
Sep 26, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Ameer Abdullah has the third-most rushing attempts in the nation and has touched the ball on one-third of Nebraska's plays from scrimmage.He wants to continue with the heavy workload."I feel better in week No. 4 than I have in previous seasons," Abdullah said.That's good for the 21st-ranked Cornhuskers (4-0) and bad for Illinois (3-1), which visits Memorial Stadium on...
No. 21 Nebraska opens Big Ten play against Illini
ERIC OLSON, Associated Press | Sep 26, 2014LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Ameer Abdullah has the third-most rushing attempts in the nation and has touched the ball on one-third of Nebraska's plays from scrimmage. He wants to continue with the heavy workload. "I feel better in week No. 4 than I have in previous seasons," Abdullah said. That's good for the 21st-ranked Cornhuskers (4-0) and bad for Illinois (3-1), which visits Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Abdullah ran for 229 yards on a career-high 35 carries in last Saturday's 41-31 victory against Miami. "And looked good with the 35th snap just like he did the first snap," Illinois defensive coordinator Tim Banks said. The more carries Abdullah gets, the more exposure he stands to receive. Nebraska is promoting Abdullah noticeably more for postseason awards than it did for its previous standouts. The athletic department has launched a "Fear Ameer" website chronicling Abdullah's achievements. In a nod to Abdullah's No. 8 and his initials, voters for college football awards received an eight-pack of AA batteries. The red-and-white packet features a picture of Abdullah and says, "Powering Nebraska football since 2011." "It's definitely a blessing because I remember high school and seeing Ndamukong Suh and just wondering why he wasn't promoted when he should have been. I feel like he should have been the first defensive player to win the Heisman," Abdullah said. "For them to push me as well as they have up to this point just shows that they care about me as a person more than just a football player. They want to see me do well." Only Pittsburgh's James Conner (109) and Boise State's Jay Ajayi (98) have more rushing attempts than Abdullah's 92. His average of 156.3 yards a game is second in the Big Ten and sixth nationally. Abdullah will overtake 1983 Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier as Nebraska's career rushing leader if he maintains his pace. Coach Bo Pelini said Abdullah merits strong consideration for the Heisman Trophy. "Anybody who pays attention I'm sure has him in the top five," Pelini said. "You've got to not be paying attention and not watching to not recognize the type of year he's having so far. That's my opinion. I'm a little biased maybe." Some things to watch as Illinois and Nebraska open Big Ten play: SLOW STARTERS: Illinois' offense has had a combined 12 of its 16 three-and-outs in the first half of its games. Last week against Texas State, after Josh Ferguson went 75 yards for a touchdown on Illinois' first play from scrimmage, the Illini punted after three plays on their next four possessions. "We're either really good or really bad," offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said. "Sometimes you attribute that to young kids, sometimes it's just the nature of what the (other team's doing). It's just one big mental game for three hours." The Illini will be going against a Nebraska defense that's given up touchdowns on its first series in three of the first four games. WATCH OUT, WES: The game features one of the Big Ten's best defensive fronts against one of the league's worst offensive lines. If Nebraska star end Randy Gregory isn't in pass coverage, look for him in the Illini backfield chasing Wes Lunt. Illinois has allowed nine sacks, including six by Washington two weeks ago. Gregory, fellow end Greg McMullen and tackle Vincent Valentine have combined for 6 1/2 of the Huskers' eight sacks. FOCUS ON FERGUSON: Nebraska's biggest defensive challenge might be keeping Ferguson under control. Ferguson ran for 114 yards and had 82 yards in receptions in last year's game in Lincoln, and he's coming off a career-best 190 yards rushing against Texas State last week. HAPPY RETURN: With a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown last week, V'Angelo Bentley became the second player in Illinois history to return a kick, punt and interception for a TD in his career. The only other player to do it: Harold "Red" Grange. RED ON RED: Nebraska will wear all-red alternate uniforms. The "Red Rising" uniforms feature black metallic stripes on the jersey and pants, black and silver metallic numbers and a large "N'' on the chest. The Huskers wore all-black uniforms against UCLA last year. ___ Associated Press Writer David Mercer in Champaign, Illinois, contributed to this report.
Sep 25, 2014
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — On the Washington Redskins' very first possession Thursday night, Kirk Cousins was sacked and stripped of the football.He was just getting started giving the ball away.Cousins wound up with five turnovers — that early fumble, plus four second-half picks — and the quarterback's generosity helped the New York Giants beat the Redskins 45-14. Washington coach Jay Gruden called...
Cousins has 4 picks in Skins' 45-14 loss to Giants
HOWARD FENDRICH, Associated Press | Sep 25, 2014LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — On the Washington Redskins' very first possession Thursday night, Kirk Cousins was sacked and stripped of the football. He was just getting started giving the ball away. Cousins wound up with five turnovers — that early fumble, plus four second-half picks — and the quarterback's generosity helped the New York Giants beat the Redskins 45-14. Washington coach Jay Gruden called it "abysmal," ''a total team debacle," and a "slap in the face." "I don't know if I'd use the word 'slap,'" Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather said. "It's more like a knockout." Antrel Rolle, Prince Amukamara, Quintin Demps and Trumaine McBride each grabbed an interception, and McBride also contributed to Washington's sixth turnover, recovering tight end Logan Paulsen's fumble late in the second quarter. All told, the Giants (2-2) scored 31 points off giveaways by the Redskins (1-3). "I've got to look at my play, because that was killing us at the end there," said Cousins, who finished 19 for 33 for 257 yards, one touchdown pass and all those errors. "There was too many times tonight where I — or we — made mistakes." He was making his second consecutive start in place of 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III, who is sidelined by a dislocated left ankle. In one particularly poor third-quarter stretch — one that began when the game actually was still close, with New York's lead only 10 points — Cousins threw three interceptions in a span of five passes. Griffin has never thrown three interceptions in an entire NFL game. "I was trying to get everything back in one play," Cousins said. "I was trying to force things." Cousins, a fourth-round draft pick the same year Heisman Trophy winner Griffin was the No. 1 overall selection, was coming off a 427-yard passing performance in a 37-34 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday. He had his problems that day, too, including failing to gain a single yard when Washington started its final drive at Philadelphia's 41. But this was an entirely different display, with poor throws and poorer judgment. After one of his interceptions, Cousins trudged over to the sideline, plopped himself down on the bench and dropped his head, looking forlorn as could be. "He was trying to create a spark offensively and there was no spark there," Gruden said. He also wanted to make clear he didn't think Cousins deserved all the blame for the lopsided outcome. And others agreed. "Tonight, we wouldn't have beat anybody. We wouldn't have beat Williams & Mary. We wouldn't have beat Virginia Tech," safety Ryan Clark said. "Any other team close to here that they could have picked to play us — I think there's a high school team ranked in the top 10; we wouldn't have beat them." There was plenty of other bad news for Washington, too, not the least of which was the defense's inability to slow Giants quarterback Eli Manning's dink-and-dunk approach. And a Redskins roster already depleted by injuries — in addition to Griffin's extended absence, for example, top cornerback DeAngelo Hall is done for the season — absorbed some more. Left tackle Trent Williams left Thursday's game with a strained right knee, defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins left in the first half for X-rays on his bruised ribs, and tight end Niles Paul walked off woozy with a concussion after being leveled by a helmet-to-helmet hit. Yet the Redskins trailed only by 24-14 after Alfred Morris' 20-yard TD run on the second half's opening drive. Shortly after that, though, Cousins began regularly throwing the ball to the Giants. "After the first turnover, we were still in it. After the second turnover, you still were in it," Cousins said. "It just started to snowball. And then you get late in the fourth and they've got a big lead and it just becomes insurmountable." Notes: Morris ran 12 times for 63 yards. ... Roy Helu led Washington with five catches for 78 yards. Pierre Garcon had only two catches, Andre Roberts one. ... Manning finished 28 for 39 for 300 yards, four touchdown passes and one interception. He also ran for a score. ___ Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP_NFL
The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright predicts the score of every game in the state.
Oklahoma high school football: Week 4 picks
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer | Sep 24, 2014Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every game in the state. Last week’s record: 140-41 (77.3 pct.) Overall record: 402-139 (74.3 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Mustang 42, EDMOND NORTH 14 WESTMOORE 35, Norman 17 Class 5A LAWTON MACARTHUR 56, Northwest 6 COLCORD 28, Tahlequah JV 12 Tulsa Kelley 31, TULSA MEMORIAL 28 Independent OSD 48, Kansas Deaf 42 CAPITOL HILL 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Friday’s Games Class 6A SAND SPRINGS 35, Bartlesville 24 BIXBY 42, Claremore 20 Edm. Santa Fe 28, EDM. MEMORIAL 27 CHOCTAW 35, Enid 28 MIDWEST CITY 28, Lawton Eisenhower 7 SOUTHMOORE 34, Moore 14 Owasso 24, NORMAN NORTH 22 TULSA WASHINGTON 27, Ponca City 12 JENKS 45, Putnam City 13 LAWTON 48, Putnam West 14 MUSKOGEE 28, Sapulpa 24 Tulsa Union 44, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 9 STILLWATER 56, U.S. Grant 6 BROKEN ARROW 49, Yukon 21 Class 5A Altus 35, EL RENO 28 DEL CITY 34, Ardmore 31 Carl Albert 42, WESTERN HEIGHTS 35 COWETA 28, Collinsville 27 Deer Creek 30, PIEDMONT 6 Duncan 28, CHICKASHA 8 McALESTER 49, Durant 7 Guthrie 28, MCGUINNESS 20 SHAWNEE 28, Noble 10 Pryor 33, TULSA EDISON 18 Skiatook 38, TULSA HALE 6 Southeast 35, GUYMON 34 TAHLEQUAH 28, Tulsa East Central 24 GROVE 27, Tulsa NOAH 7 Class 4A Ada 31, GLENPOOL 20 Anadarko 45, ELK CITY 7 Bristow 28, SANTA FE SOUTH 8 Cleveland 28, VINITA 24 WOODWARD 42, Elgin 12 Fort Gibson 28, SALLISAW 21 Harrah 35, McLOUD 20 Metro Christian 31, STILWELL 17 CASCIA HALL 28, Miami 20 POTEAU 30, Muldrow 12 Newcastle 35, CACHE 14 TUTTLE 32, Tecumseh 15 BROKEN BOW 26, Tulsa Central 22 Tulsa McLain 18, CATOOSA 14 WAGONER 42, OOLOGAH 35 CLINTON 28, Weatherford 27 Class 3A Bethany 35, MEEKER 34 STAR SPENCER 32, Bethel 26 PAWNEE 20, Blackwell 14 JOHN MARSHALL 27, Blanchard 24 HERITAGE HALL 42, Centennial 6 IDABEL 35, Checotah 20 Cushing 28, PERKINS 27 TULSA WEBSTER 27, Dewey 24 Douglass 24, PLAINVIEW 20 Eufaula 28, HEAVENER 14 BEGGS 27, Hilldale 20 JONES 33, Holdenville 7 SEQ.-TAHLEQUAH 24, Inola 14 SPERRY 30, Kellyville 20 JAY 31, Keys (Park Hill) 26 SEMINOLE 42, Little Axe 20 Locust Grove 44, WESTVILLE 10 Lone Grove 35, MADILL 20 KINGFISHER 42, Mannford 7 Marlow 28, COMANCHE 12 Mount St. Mary 28, BRIDGE CREEK 21 VICTORY CHRISTIAN 48, Okmulgee 8 PURCELL 27, Pauls Valley 7 Roland 35, SPIRO 28 BERYHILL 30, Seq.-Claremore 17 Sulphur 34, DICKSON 14 Tulsa Rogers 30, MORRIS 8 STIGLER 28, Valliant 8 LINCOLN CHRISTIAN 38, Verdigris 20 Class 2A Afton 28, WYANDOTTE 16 HENNESSEY 28, Alva 20 HUGO 20, ATOKA 6 Chisholm 40, NEWKIRK 12 Chr. Heritage 35, LUTHER 34 TISHOMINGO 21, Coalgate 14 NOWATA 30, Commerce 20 OKEENE 32, Crooked Oak 26 Dibble 35, WALTERS 28 LINDSAY 28, Frederick 7 Haskell 34, CHOUTEAU 18 CHANDLER 42, Henryetta 35 Hobart 29, HOLLIS 22 HULBERT 20, Kansas 14 Kingston 35, MARIETTA 12 WASHINGTON 34, Lexington 14 HARTSHORNE 34, Liberty 7 Northeast 35, WELLSTON 32 DAVIS 44, OKC Legion 20 STROUD 28, Okemah 8 Oklahoma Christian 21, MILLWOOD 20 Oklahoma Union 21, CHELSEA 20 Panama 28, ANTLERS 24 Pawhuska 22, CANEY VALLEY 16 Perry 20, TONKAWA 14 ADAIR 42, Salina 18 Warner 27, POCOLA 6 PRAGUE 28, Wewoka 22 VIAN 40, Wilburton 12 Class A Apache 44, MANGUM 12 BEAVER 28, Burns Flat-Dill City 27 Cashion 48, CRESCENT 27 EMPIRE 28, Central Marlow 20 Central Sallisaw 31, PORTER 20 COMMUNITY CHR. 36, Elmore City 18 MOORELAND 24, Fairview 16 FAIRLAND 32, Foyil 28 Gore 21, QUINTON 20 CORDELL 28, Hinton 27 Hominy 28, DRUMRIGHT 21 THOMAS 42, Hooker 7 Kiefer 44, BARNSDALL 7 WYNNEWOOD 35, Konawa 7 MORRISON 34, Mounds 16 Oklahoma Bible 35, CROSSINGS CHR. 28 REJOICE CHR. 32, Quapaw 20 Ringling 44, WILSON 12 STRATFORD 28, Rush Springs 21 TALIHINA 54, Savanna 8 CARNEGIE 35, Snyder 34 KETCHUM 28, Summit Christian 24 Texhoma 42, SAYRE 14 HEALDTON 22, Velma-Alma 20 Watonga 34, at OKLA. CHRISTIAN ACA. 20 MINCO 42, Wayne 28 Class B Alex 58, MACOMB 8 Allen 48, BRAY-DOYLE 8 WELEETKA 56, Arkoma 42 Caddo 42, HAILEYVILLE 20 GANS 38, Canadian 24 Cyril 40, STROTHER 14 WAURIKA 28, Geary 24 Maysville 50, MAUD 20 RINGWOOD 54, MERRITT 44 LAVERNE 56, Pioneer 6 Pond Creek-Hunter 54, CANTON 8 KEOTA 44, Porum 12 GARBER 36, South Coffeyville 28 SEILING 52, Turpin 6 DEPEW 34, Watts 22 Waukomis 54, KREMLIN-HILLSDALE 24 OAKS 48, Webbers Falls 12 WELCH 34, Wesleyan Christian 24 DEWAR 54, Wetumka 42 DAVENPORT 44, Woodland 20 Class C Balko 56, BUFFALO 6 SASAKWA 32, Bokoshe 14 FOX 58, Bowlegs 12 BLUEJACKET 44, Copan 12 Corn Bible 38, SW COVENANT 28 Covington-Douglas 46, CLAREMORE CHR. 12 DC-Lamont 42, PRUE 20 RYAN 48, Gracemont 12 TIPTON 56, Grandfield 16 DUKE 28, Life Christian 20 Midway 48, PAOLI 22 BOISE CITY 40, Rolla, Kan. 22 Sharon-Mutual 42, OKC PATRIOTS 18 Shattuck 56, TYRONE 6 MT. VIEW GOTEBO 48, Temple 20 Thackerville 54, CAVE SPRINGS 8 COYLE 56, Timberlake 30 CHEROKEE 58, Waynoka 6 MEDFORD 42, Wright Christian 20 Independent CASADY 31, Dallas St. Marks 28 IMMANUEL CHR. 42, Eagle Point Christian 28 HOLLAND HALL 28, Trinity Valley 24 Home team in CAPS
Sep 21, 2014
The Oklahoman’s writers discuss who’s been the biggest surprise of the season, who has the most promising future and who’s most in need of the clean slate that district play provides.
High school football: Answering three big questions after three weeks of the season
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, JACOB UNRUH AND TRENT SHADID | Sep 21, 2014For most teams in the state, Week 4 of the football season represents the beginning of district play — the games that really count. The first three weeks provide little more than momentum and bragging rights. So as the season really begins this week, The Oklahoman high school sports staff addresses three big questions after three weeks of football: 1. Which 3-0 team has been the biggest surprise? Scott Wright: Idabel After three wins in the previous two seasons combined, Idabel is off to a red-hot start. Coach Dennis Parker has orchestrated a turnaround that includes two wins of 50-plus points and an upset of rival Broken Bow, a game Idabel hadn’t won in over a decade. Jacob Unruh: Stillwater The Pioneers won just two games last season, but fought their way through a grueling nondistrict schedule that included Deer Creek, Mustang and Edmond North. It was even more impressive that part of this span was without quarterback Braxton Noble, the team’s leader. Trent Shadid: Owasso Not because the Rams lack talent, but because of the schedule. Owasso defeated preseason No. 5-ranked Broken Arrow in Week 1 and defending state champion Jenks — for the first time since 1993 — in Week 3. The defense has led the way, surrendering just 13 points over three games. Others: Fort Gibson, Skiatook, Western Heights 2. Which 0-3 team has the most promising future? Scott Wright: Coweta Jay Wilkinson’s first season coaching the Tigers hasn’t produced a victory yet, but all three losses have been by eight points or less against teams that have been ranked at some point this season. The offense is averaging 40 points per game against some talented defenses, and the district schedule offers opportunities to get in the win column. Jacob Unruh: Deer Creek The Antlers are creeping their way to Class 6A with the number of students in the school, but they appeared overmatched against three Class 6A opponents. They get a chance to rebound against rival and new district foe Piedmont this week in a matchup they have owned of late. Trent Shadid: Southmoore The SaberCats have yet to produce a win despite improving each week against a challenging nondistrict schedule. Southmoore’s biggest issue has been inexperience on offense, specifically at quarterback where talented freshman Casey Thompson is now the starter. As Thompson begins to improve, expect the team to do the same. Others: Catoosa, Duncan, Stigler 3. Which team is most in need of the clean slate that district play provides? Scott Wright: Muskogee The Roughers could also be considered one of the most promising 0-3 teams, with losses to the likes of McAlester and Owasso. A fresh start in District 6A-II-2 will be a big boost for Rafe Watkins’ squad. With several winnable games on the district schedule, Muskogee still has the potential to go into the postseason with some momentum. Jacob Unruh: Poteau The Pirates are just happy to remain in Oklahoma. Last year’s Class 4A runner-up is off to an unfortunate 1-2 start against three teams out of the state, but it’ll get a chance to turn the record around in a favorable district that includes powerful Fort Gibson. Trent Shadid: Blanchard At 1-2, the Lions have as many losses this season as they had in the previous two seasons combined. However, they are yet to face a Class 3A opponent as they head into 3A-2 action this week. The slow start will be easily forgotten if Blanchard can regain its winning ways when it counts. Others: Clinton, Del City, Texhoma
Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every game in the state. Last week’s record: 127-51 (71.3 pct.) Overall record: 262-98 (72.8 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Choctaw 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 21 EDMOND MEMORIAL 28, Mustang 24 Norman 21, MOORE 14 LAWTON 42, Sapulpa 14 Class 5A Tulsa Edison 48, TULSA HALE 8 Class 4A ANADARKO 28, Midwest City JV 0 Class 3A Tulsa...
The Oklahoman's Week 3 high school football picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 17, 2014Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every game in the state. Last week’s record: 127-51 (71.3 pct.) Overall record: 262-98 (72.8 pct.) NEWSOK VARSITY STATS APP: Stats, schedules, scores and more in the palm of your hand from The Oklahoman Thursday’s Games Class 6A Choctaw 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 21 EDMOND MEMORIAL 28, Mustang 24 Norman 21, MOORE 14 LAWTON 42, Sapulpa 14 Class 5A Tulsa Edison 48, TULSA HALE 8 Class 4A ANADARKO 28, Midwest City JV 0 Class 3A Tulsa Webster 28, CAPITOL HILL 24 Wynnewood 34, CENTENNIAL 16 Class A KIEFER 42, Beggs JV 20 Quapaw 28, JOPLIN, MO. JV 24 Friday’s Games Class 6A ENID 17, Bartlesville 14 TULSA UNION 31, Broken Arrow 17 MIDWEST CITY 24, Del City 22 STILLWATER 21, Edmond North 14 Fayetteville, Ark. 28, MUSKOGEE 21 Jenks 31, OWASSO 24 LAWTON MACARTHUR 56, Lawton Ike 28 Norman North 42, Westmoore 35 SHAWNEE 35, Ponca City 14 PUTNAM CITY 28, Putnam City West 24 GUTHRIE 30, Sand Springs 18 CLAREMORE 20, Siloam Springs, Ark. 14 EDMOND SANTA FE 32, Southmoore 20 BIXBY 34, Springdale, Ark. 28 TULSA WASHINGTON 28, Tulsa East Central 12 Yukon 24, DEER CREEK 21 Class 5A Ardmore 17, GAINESVILLE, TEXAS 12 Carl Albert 24, DUNCAN 8 Catoosa 28, GROVE 14 Chickasha 31, CACHE 28 Collinsville 27, SKIATOOK 20 ADA 19, Durant 12 Elk City 35, ALTUS 28 DALHART, TEXAS 28, Guymon 24 McGuinness 24, WEATHERFORD 13 TULSA CENTRAL 32, Northwest 22 NOBLE 28, Piedmont 21 McALESTER 28, Pryor 24 TAHLEQUAH 21, Sallisaw 20 Southeast 44, U.S. GRANT 28 COWETA 18, Tulsa Kelley 10 TULSA MEMORIAL 33, Tulsa NOAH 21 Western Heights 34, EL RENO 28 Class 4A MANNFORD 20, Bristow 12 Broken Bow 26, SEQ.-TAHLEQUAH 14 POTEAU 28, Campus, Kan. 24 Cascia Hall 27, MILLWOOD 22 CLEVELAND 35, Cushing 28 TUTTLE 35, Elgin 7 Harrah 27, PERKINS 20 MULDROW 19, Heavener 13 Meeker 32, TECUMSEH 20 Metro Christian 36, SEQ.-CLAREMORE 21 Newcastle 45, BLANCHARD 28 Nowata 28, MIAMI 20 Oologah 20, GLENPOOL 14 CLINTON 38, PLAINVIEW 21 Seminole 42, McLOUD 8 Mount St. Mary 44, SANTA FE SOUTH 16 LOCUST GROVE 42, Stilwell 17 Tulsa McLain 27, HILLDALE 22 Vinita 21, DEWEY 20 Wagoner 28, FORT GIBSON 22 Woodward 35, TULSA ROGERS 12 Class 3A BEGGS 28, Berryhill 24 KINGFISHER 42, Bethany 35 PRAGUE 28, Bethel 14 FREDERICK 18, Comanche 12 Douglass 34, STAR SPENCER 20 CHECOTAH 27, Eufaula 24 JAY 28, Gravette, Ark. 27 Hennessey 30, JONES 28 STIGLER 21, Henryetta 14 Heritage Hall 28, DAVIS 27 VALLIANT 18, Hugo 12 SPERRY 22, Inola 16 John Marshall 42, CROOKED OAK 8 Kansas 32, WESTVILLE 14 VIAN 44, Keys (Park Hill) 16 IDABEL 28, Konawa 24 KELLYVILLE 31, Liberty 22 OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN 42, Lincoln Chr. 38 Lindsay 28, PAULS VALLEY 12 Little Axe 45, CHANDLER 42 KINGSTON 26, Madill 21 OKEMAH 28, Morris 12 OKC Legion 30, DICKSON 20 ROLAND 35, Okmulgee 18 Purcell 34, LEXINGTON 20 Sanger, Texas 44, LONE GROVE 31 Spiro 42, HASKELL 22 BRIDGE CREEK 28, Sulphur 27 Tonkawa 22, BLAKCWELL 18 ADAIR 34, Verdigris 24 Victory Christian 48, SHILOH CHR. 12 MARLOW 28, Washington 24 Class 2A ANTLERS 32, Atoka 20 LUTHER 40, Cashion 37 SALINA 34, Chelsea 14 Chisholm 26, THOMAS 24 Colcord 30, COMMERCE 16 Dibble 32, WAYNE 28 CANEY VALLEY 24, Drumright 20 OKLAHOMA UNION 21, Fairland 14 Hartshorne 26, COALGATE 20 Healdton 18, TISHOMINGO 14 Hobart 28, ALVA 22 Hominy 28, PAWHUSKA 14 MOUNDS 28, Hulbert 27 RINGLING 29, Marietta 13 Northeast 35, OKLAHOMA CHR. ACADEMY 28 Okeene 16, NEWKIRK 12 WARNER 24, Panama 22 Pawnee 26, YALE 20 CHOUTEAU 28, Porter 14 Quinton 30, POCOLA 8 Savanna 20, WILBURTON 14 WALTERS 24, Snyder 16 WEWOKA 30, Stratford 20 Stroud 20, PERRY 8 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE 22, Talihina 14 HOLDENVILLE 16, Wellston 14 MARIONVILLE, MO. 20, WYANDOTTE 12 Class A Apache 42, CROSSINGS CHR. 7 HOLLIS 28, Beaver 14 CENTRAL MARLOW 20, Carnegie 14 Community Christian 24, SUMMIT CHR. 20 Cordell 28, BURNS FLAT-DILL CITY 8 MOORELAND 22, Crescent 14 VELMA-ALMA 24, Elmore City 16 CENTRAL SALLISAW 22, Foyil 6 Hinton 28, EMPIRE 14 Ketchum 20, GORE 12 Minco 27, RUSH SPRINGS 16 MORRISON 28, Oklahoma Bible 27 BARNSDALL 24, Rejoice Christian 20 MANGUM 14, Sayre 8 HOOKER 28, Syracuse, Kan. 6 Texhoma 32, at VEGA, TEXAS 12 FAIRVIEW 14, Watonga 13 Class B Alex 48, ALLEN 22 CYRIL 54, Bray-Doyle 28 Caddo 34, CANADIAN 16 RINGWOOD 42, Canton 20 Coyle 54, WELCH 8 Davenport 48, GARBER 16 Depew 44, WESLEYAN CHR. 30 Dewar 60, ARKOMA 24 WETUMKA 42, Gans 24 KEOTA 56, Haileyville 6 MERRITT 48, Kremlin-Hillsdale 20 Laverne 56, TURPIN 6 MAUD 48, Macomb 8 Oaks 52, SOUTH COFFEYVILLE 28 Pond Creek-Hunter 46, PIONEER 12 Seiling 56, WAUKOMIS 38 GEARY 34, Strother 28 MAYSVILLE 34, Waurika 20 Weleetka 54, PORUM 8 Woodland 56, WATTS 6 Class C Bluejacket 42, TIMBERLAKE 34 SHATTUCK 58, Boise City 8 WAYNOKA 48, Buffalo 6 Cave Springs 36, MIDWAY 28 COVINGTON-DOUGLAS 42, Copan 30 Destiny Christian 60, BOKOSHE 6 Duke 34, TEMPLE 20 Fox 54, PAOLI 8 Grandfield 54, GRACEMONT 8 DC-LAMONT 52, Medford 6 BALKO 54, OKC Patriots 6 Ryan 48, SW COVENANT 22 MT. VIEW-GOTEBO 38, Sharon-Mutual 34 Thackerville 48, SASAKWA 6 Tipton 58, CORN BIBLE 12 CHEROKEE 48, Tyrone 0 Webbers Falls 34, BOWLEGS 28 Independent Casady 28, TRINITY VALLEY 24 ARLINGTON OAKRIDGE 34, Holland Hall 14 WRIGHT CHRISTIAN 42, Life Christian 34 Regent Prep 56, IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 28 Saturday’s Game OSD 48, LOUISIANA DEAF 44 *-Home team in CAPS
Sep 16, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When his quarterback takes off running, Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt only worries if he picked up the first down and what play to call next. Kansas City coach Andy Reid wants the quarterback on the ground as soon as possible. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll doesn't want Russell Wilson hit but sees his quarterback running away from defenders when not in the...
Diving QBs playing off instinct instead of safety
TERESA M. WALKER, Associated Press | Sep 16, 2014NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When his quarterback takes off running, Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt only worries if he picked up the first down and what play to call next. Kansas City coach Andy Reid wants the quarterback on the ground as soon as possible. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll doesn't want Russell Wilson hit but sees his quarterback running away from defenders when not in the pocket. How the quarterback finishes off the run — sliding feet first or diving forward with the head — is only an issue when he gets hurt. "It's just like telling your children to be smart when they drive their car," Whisenhunt said. "It's an important part of it, but once they're out there on the field, it's in their hands." Being healthy enough to take the next snap is a crucial part of the job for an NFL quarterback. Yet even with all the mobile quarterbacks now in the league, the simple act of sliding feet first to be protected by rule from defenders seems to be a lost art. Cam Newton, who has the most yards (2,032) and touchdowns (28) running the past three years of any quarterback, missed the Carolina Panthers' season opener after cracking his ribs going headfirst at the end of a run in a preseason game. Playing with a flak jacket Sunday, he took off twice. Geno Smith of the New York Jets went headfirst in the opener a couple times and slid once against the Packers in Week 2. Tennessee's Jake Locker missed the final seven games of 2013 hurting his right foot on an option play where he dove forward for more yards. The Los Angeles Angels drafted Locker twice as a center fielder. So how did he slide on a baseball field? "I was headfirst most of the time," Locker said. Wilson, who played in the Rockies' system as a second baseman, took part in the Texas Rangers' spring-training camp a few weeks after winning the Super Bowl earlier this year. Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco threw two no-hitters in high school before choosing football. He went headfirst with several Bears approaching Sunday night, a play wiped out by a hold. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler finished off a 25-yard run sliding with his left leg out front. Kaepernick said last week that finishing off a run is pretty instinctual. "I mean I've been running the football since I was 8 years old, so I'm not too worried about it at this point," Kaepernick said. Teams rarely have their quarterbacks practice sliding. After Smith's headfirst approach in the opener, Jets coach Rex Ryan said maybe Derek Jeter could teach Smith to slide. Panthers coach Ron Rivera joked last month he might need someone from the Triple-A baseball Charlotte Knights to teach his quarterback how to slide. Rivera wants Newton to slide but doesn't want to take away who his quarterback is as a player. "He can't help himself (and) he ran a couple of times. He did the best he could with it," Rivera said of Newton. Reid would rather his quarterbacks slide feet first, but he also recalled having a pretty good one who went headfirst. That would be Michael Vick in Philadelphia, who missed three games in 2010 after getting hurt leading with his head but returned for a career year. He still slides headfirst. Whisenhunt said the Steelers tried getting Kordell Stewart to practice sliding. "He was awful, and it just wasn't worth the time," Whisenhunt said. "Then he ended up doing OK in the games. I think it's more about understanding where you are on the field and what's around you. But at some point, and I think I've said this, it's fourth-and-1, it's a goal-line play, you got to play football." Peyton Manning, the five-time NFL MVP with the surgically-repaired neck, took off in a preseason game with San Francisco. Facing second-and-8 at the San Francisco 9, Manning made an ill-advised run and got a yard before being smothered by linebacker Aldon Smith. Both Manning and Denver coaches were evasive about whether that was a designed draw for someone who had zero yards rushing in 2013. "It's a tendency breaker," Manning said. "You try to catch them off guard. It's probably not really high on their alert game plan sheet, 'Watch for the quarterback run.' I thought I was going to score, but I got 1 yard. Kind of humbling." Anytime a quarterback runs, defenders can land a lick that won't draw a flag as long as he goes headfirst. The biggest challenge for defenders is looking to see if the quarterback is sliding or diving. Going headfirst means hit away, as long as they avoid the quarterback's head. "You want to remind that quarterback to stay in the pocket," Titans safety Bernard Pollard said. ___ AP Pro Football Writers Arnie Stapleton and Rob Maaddi and AP Sports Writers Tim Booth, Janie McCauley and Steve Reed contributed to this report. ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker
Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola...
The Oklahoman's Week 2 high school football picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 10, 2014Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola 36, Poteau JV 14 Class B DEPEW 40, OSD 24 Independent Wright Christian 46, Eagle Point Chr. 28 Friday’s Games Class 6A Bartlesville 28, CASCIA HALL 17 Bentonville, Ark. 17, BROKEN ARROW 7 Deer Creek 21, NORMAN 17 Edmond Memorial 20, EDMOND NORTH 14 Enid 28, SAND SPRINGS 24 Guthrie 44, PONCA CITY 10 TULSA UNION 31, Jenks 28 DEL CITY 55, Lawton Eisenhower 28 LAWTON 28, Lawton MacArthur 27 Midwest City 21, CARL ALBERT 20 Owasso 35, MUSKOGEE 14 CHOCTAW 42, Putnam City 28 Putnam North 28, PUTNAM WEST 24 Rogers, Ark. 21, CLAREMORE14 Sapulpa 48, TULSA HALE 12 WESTMOORE 28, Southmoore 20 MUSTANG 45, Stillwater 28 TULSA WASHINGTON 49, Tulsa Central 8 Class 5A ANADARKO 42, Altus 8 Ardmore 28, DURANT 12 WESTERN HEIGHTS 40, Capitol Hill 12 COLLINSVILLE 28, Catoosa 14 GROVE 22, Jay 18 Liberal, Kan. 35, GUYMON 14 McAlester 35, COWETA 28 McGuinness 17, TULSA KELLEY 14 Noble 28, CHICKASHA 14 NORTHWEST 35, Northeast 28 Pryor 24, WAGONER 20 Shawnee 35, DUNCAN 14 Skiatook 20, OOLOGAH 14 ELK CITY 31, Southeast 24 Stilwell 14, TAHLEQUAH 13 Tulsa Edison 30, TULSA MEMORIAL 22 Weatherford 17, PIEDMONT 13 Woodward 20, EL RENO 12 Class 4A HOBART 27, Cache 20 HERITAGE HALL 24, Clinton 21 HILLDALE 17, Fort Gibson 14 BEGGS 32, Glenpool 27 BROKEN BOW 28, Idabel 22 HARRAH 27, Jones 20 ADA 31, Madill 28 CLEVELAND 30, Mannford 10 Marlow 24, ELGIN 17 McLoud 30, PERKINS 20 VERDIGRIS 27, Miami 24 SPIRO 28, Muldrow 6 Oklahoma Christian 24, METRO CHR. 20 Poteau 34, VAN BUREN, ARK. 28 Seminole 49, TECUMSEH 7 SALLISAW 28, Stigler 20 BRISTOW 30, Stroud 22 TULSA McLAIN 28, Tulsa NOAH 24 NEWCASTLE 28, Tuttle 27 NOWATA 21, Vinita 17 Class 3A Berryhill 35, CUSHING 28 NEWKIRK 20, Blackwell 16 LEXINGTON 21, Bridge Creek 20 KELLYVILLE 34, Caney Valley 18 BLANCHARD 24, Casady 20 Chandler 28, MEEKER 21 Checotah 32, HENRYETTA 14 Chr. Heritage 42, MOUNT ST. MARY 28 LITTLE AXE 34, Crooked Oak 16 Davis 42, SULPHUR 14 PAWHUSKA 28, Dewey 24 LINDSAY 30, Dickson 17 HARTSHORNE 34, Eufaula 10 Haskell 14, MORRIS 13 John Marshall 38, CENTENNIAL 26 Kingfisher 40, HENNESSEY 20 VICTORY CHRISTIAN 49, Lighthouse Chr. 7 Lincoln Christian 42, HOLLAND HALL 14 Lincoln, Ark. 28, KEYS (PARK HILL) 21 Lone Grove 42, HUGO 7 BETHANY 45, OKC Legion 8 Okemah 28, BETHEL 12 PLAINVIEW 26, Pauls Valley 13 WASHINGTON 18, Purcell 12 Roland 35, SEQ.-TAHLEQUAH 14 Salina 21, INOLA 14 Seq. Claremore 28, SPERRY 6 COMANCHE 14, Tishomingo 13 Tulsa Rogers 26, TULSA WEBSTER 22 U.S. Grant 22, OKMULGEE 18 KINGSTON 35, Valliant 7 Vian 28, HEAVENER 6 COLCORD 27, Westville 22 Class 2A Adair 46, WYANDOTTE 6 COMMERCE 28, Afton 26 Alva 24, OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21 TALIHINA 41, Antlers 16 Barnsdall 21, OKLAHOMA UNION 20 PANAMA 28, Central Sallisaw 20 Chouteau 24, KETCHUM 16 SAVANNA 42, Coalgate 14 Empire 20, WALTERS 14 CHISHOLM 42, Fairview 20 CHELSEA 27, Foyil 16 Holdenville 20, ATOKA 14 Hominy 28, PAWNEE 18 FREDERICK 30, Mangum 12 ELMORE CITY 18, Marietta 14 TONKAWA 28, Morrison 21 CRESCENT 28, Perry 6 LUTHER 35, Prague 20 Rush Springs 30, DIBBLE 16 Summit Christian 46, LIBERTY 6 Warner 27, HULBERT 14 Wewoka 28, KONAWA 21 QUINTON 22, Wilburton 6 Yale 28, WELLSTON 20 Class A SYRACUSE, KAN. 20, Beaver 16 SNYDER 29, Burns Flat-Dill City 7 COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN 34, Carnegie 20 CORDELL 21, Central Marlow 20 MINCO 28, Crossings Christian 21 Drumright 16, PORTER 14 TEXHOMA 22, Gruver, Texas 14 STRATFORD 24, Healdton 22 Hollis 42, HOOKER 6 Humboldt, Kan. 27, QUAPAW 14 Kiefer 42, REJOICE CHRISTIAN 14 CASHION 35, Mooreland 16 Mounds 28, GORE 7 THOMAS 21, Okeene 7 WAYNE 32, Okla. Christian Aca. 13 HINTON 24, Sayre 14 WYNNEWOOD 35, Velma-Alma 34 APACHE 37, Wilson 20 Class B Allen 56, MACOMB 6 Arkoma 38, GANS 26 Canadian 28, HAILEYVILLE 24 ALEX 44, Cyril 6 Garber 48, OAKS 20 Geary 56, BRAY-DOYLE 42 Keota 42, WELEETKA 34 WAURIKA 38, Maud 20 Maysville 56, STROTHER 22 SEILING 44, Merritt 28 CANTON 34, Pioneer 28 DEWAR 56, Porum 6 Ringwood 48, KREMLIN-HILLSDALE 8 WELCH 32, South Coffeyville 28 POND CREEK-HUNTER 48, Turpin 12 DAVENPORT 54, Watts 6 LAVERNE 58, Waukomis 20 WOODLAND 42, Wesleyan Christian 20 Wetumka 40, CADDO 28 Class C Balko 42, ROLLA, KAN. 28 BOKOSHE 28, Bowlegs 24 Cherokee 54, BUFFALO 8 RYAN 44, Corn Bible 28 Covington-Douglas 34, MEDFORD 30 Coyle 54, PRUE 16 BLUEJACKET 56, DC-Lamont 40 Fox 60, WEBBERS FALLS 14 DUKE 48, Gracemont 44 CAVE SPRINGS 28, Paoli 24 Regent Prep 54, COPAN 38 Sasakwa 42, MIDWAY 26 Shattuck 58, SHARON-MUTUAL 28 MT. VIEW-GOTEBO 38, SW Covenant 22 TIPTON 56, Temple 8 Thackerville 54, GRANDFIELD 52 Timberlake 34, WAYNOKA 24 BOISE CITY 40, Tyrone 14 Independent Destiny Christian 40, OKC PATRIOTS 16 CLAREMORE CHR. 42, Immanuel Chr. 14 Saturday’s Game Class 3A Douglass 28, MILLWOOD 24 *Home team in CAPS
Sep 10, 2014
Former Oklahoma defensive backs coach didn’t play or coach at Tennessee before last season, but he’s surrounded by familiarity as the Volunteers’ secondary coach.
Oklahoma football: Willie Martinez returns to face Sooners
BY RYAN ABER | Sep 10, 2014NORMAN — Willie Martinez is back home. The former Oklahoma defensive backs coach didn’t play or coach at Tennessee before last season, but he’s surrounded by familiarity as the Volunteers’ secondary coach. Saturday, Martinez returns to Norman for the first time since leaving the Sooners following the 2011 season when Tennessee plays at Oklahoma. “There will be a lot of mixed emotions from the standpoint of we made a lot of good friends there — my wife and I and our children,” Martinez said. “Not that we’re going back to see those friends, but we’ll see some. There were a lot of great memories there.” While at Oklahoma, Martinez and his family lived in Oklahoma City. His son, Will Martinez, was a standout baseball and football player for Bishop McGuinness and wrapped up his high school career in 2013-14 at Knoxville Catholic. Martinez’s departure at Oklahoma following the 2011 season was officially announced as a resignation, but the writing was on the wall that Martinez wasn’t going to return. After Mike Stoops was fired as Arizona’s coach, it was clear that Bob Stoops wanted to bring his brother, who served as secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator for the Sooners from 1999-2003, back to the staff. Martinez wound up at Auburn as the secondary coach at a program just a year removed from the Tigers winning a national title. But Martinez’s one season with the Tigers was disastrous, with Auburn finishing 3-9 and winless in SEC play. A day after the season ended, Tigers coach Gene Chizik and the entire staff — including Martinez and Jay Boulware, who is now Oklahoma’s tight end and special teams coach — were fired. It didn’t take long for Martinez to find a new landing spot around some familiar faces. About a month after leaving Auburn, Martinez was reunited with Butch Jones and John Jancek at Tennessee. Martinez and Jones served together as assistant coaches at Central Michigan from 1998-2000. Jancek, Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, was Georgia’s linebackers coach from 2005-08 with Martinez as defensive coordinator and in 2009 shared the defensive coordinator duties with Martinez. Of the current Sooners defensive backs, only cornerback Julian Wilson and safety Quentin Hayes played under Martinez. “He was a good coach, a real strict coach and taught us a lot,” Hayes said. “He stayed on us — class, football, everything.” Aaron Colvin was coached by Martinez for the his first two seasons with the Sooners, starting 12 games in 2011 and leading the Sooners with 84 tackles that season. “He was a real genuine guy,” Colvin said. “He cared more about us off of the football field than a lot of others would. Of course he wanted us to perform on the field, but off, he cared for us just as much.” Colvin remembers Martinez talking often with his players about things that went far beyond football. “The stuff he taught us, it was real,” Colvin said. “A lot of the stuff I still remember to this day. Any time he spoke, we listened.” Even with the way things ended, Martinez remembers his two years in Norman fondly. “They’re just first class,” Martinez said about OU’s football program. “They’re very professional, good people, and it’s really led by athletic director Joe Castiglione. He’s just an unbelievable, great leader, great person. You could see that in the whole athletic department and it just trickles down to their whole coaching staff and whole support staff.”
Sep 4, 2014
OU equipment staff had to take Blake Bell’s helmet inside and replace the facemask before he returned to action in the third quarter.
Oklahoma football notebook: Blake Bell needed new facemask after near-touchdown
BY JASON KERSEY AND RYAN ABER | Sep 4, 2014Late in the first half of last weekend’s season opener against Louisiana Tech, OU quarterback Trevor Knight threw the ball near the back corner of the end zone toward tight end Blake Bell, but a Bulldogs defender was called for pass interference on the play. Bell’s face was slammed into the turf, leaving a giant divot lodged in his facemask, which was also dented. OU equipment staff had to take Bell’s helmet inside and replace the facemask before he returned to action in the third quarter. “It was almost like the guy grabbed my left arm and then somehow, my right arm got stuck, so it's like I just dove, just straight into the ground,” Bell said with a laugh. “At some point, I was just trying to get it out and realized I couldn't.” Bell, who started eight games at quarterback last season, was denied his first career reception last weekend, but is hoping to make an impact in the passing game Saturday against Tulsa. “The connection has definitely been there since the beginning with the both of us,” Knight said. “You want something like that for him and he almost reeled it in. The guy was holding his arm and we got the PI called. He’ll get his opportunity.” WILSON AT CORNER: ‘SO FAR, SO GOOD’ OU senior Julian Wilson started all 13 games last season at nickelback, but moved to corner this year, making his first career start at his new position last weekend against Louisiana Tech. Wilson, who played cornerback at Southmoore and was recruited at the position, was pleased with his first performance, although he said it wasn’t perfect. “I graded out well when I got my sheet at the beginning of the week,” Wilson said. “There’s always room to improve, so I gotta work on things during this week and come out ready for Tulsa.” Asked what mistakes he made, Wilson said, “I’m going to keep that between me and my coach.” His position coach, Bobby Jack Wright, said of Wilson’s transition to corner, “So far, so good.” “I think Julian’s gonna have an excellent year,” Wright said. “One game certainly doesn’t make a season. He’s athletic, he’s fast and he’s pretty smart. “There are subtle nuances about playing corner he may not know and understand yet, but he picks those things up pretty quick.” CAVIL STILL IN THE MIX It seemed strange last weekend when true freshman receiver Jeffery Mead got in the action, while redshirt freshman Dannon Cavil didn’t. Cavil, who graduated high school early and went through spring practices in 2013, is still without a game appearance entering Saturday’s game at Tulsa. “Dannon had a little leg injury,” said receivers coach Jay Norvell. “We are hoping he continues to come on and show us some things, but we’ve got some kids who have done some good things in camp and you kind of get the first shot when you show positive things. “He’s definitely still in the mix. We need him to continue to improve and be ready to go if we need him.” QUOTABLE OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, on his relationship with Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship. Stoops recruited the Tulsa area when Blankenship was coaching at Tulsa Union: “I’ve known Bill many years and really respect him as a coach and as a person. That’s for sure. He’s a really good guy. He was always good to me when I recruited his players.”
Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.
High school football: The Oklahoman's Week 1 picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 3, 2014Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.) 35, Poteau 20 Roland 35, MULDROW 10 Class 3A WASHINGTON 35, Bridge Creek 12 INOLA 28, Chelsea 13 VELMA-ALMA 22, Comanche 16 CASADY 42, Heritage Hall 38 Kingston 14, DICKSON 12 DOUGLASS 48, Northeast 12 Locust Grove 42, Salina 8 Class 2A Crescent 28, NEWKIRK 14 PANAMA 40, Gore 14 Hartshorne 44, HOLDENVILLE 12 Talihina 48, WILBURTON 6 Oklahoma Union 14, QUAPAW 13 Class A Carnegie 28, BURNS FLAT-DILL CITY 12 Class B GEARY 42, Canton 38 DEER CREEK-LAMONT 40, Kremlin-Hillsdale 22 POND CREEK-HUNTER 42, Medford 12 BLUEJACKET 48, Welch 20 Class C Shattuck 56, Pioneer JV 6 Friday Class 6A JENKS 56, Bixby 16 Choctaw 35, SAPULPA 20 PRYOR 28, Claremore 22 STILLWATER 30, Deer Creek 27 Edmond Santa Fe 24, EDMOND NORTH 20 Fayetteville (Ark.) 35, LAWTON EISENHOWER 14 Lawton 28, SALINA (KAN.) CENTRAL 21 McALESTER 42, Muskogee 28 Mustang 28, YUKON 21 BROKEN ARROW 31, Owasso 17 ENID 28, Ponca City 20 Putnam City 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 27 DEL CITY 42, Putnam City West 20 Tulsa East Central 28, BARTLESVILLE 24 SAND SPRINGS 40, Tulsa Hale 12 SOUTHLAKE (TEXAS) CARROLL 35, Tulsa Union 28 MIDWEST CITY 21, Tulsa Washington 20 Westmoore 35, MOORE 7 Class 5A Ada 14, ARDMORE 13 Ashdown (Ark.) 28, DURANT 24 ANADARKO 42, Chickasha 17 Coweta 28, WAGONER 27 GUTHRIE 27, Duncan 21 CALR ALBERT 21, El Reno 7 Grove 28, MIAMI 21 HUGOTON (KAN.) 24, Guymon 14 Lawton MacArthur 33, CLINTON 27 JOHN MARSHALL 32, Northwest Classen 13 Shawnee 28, MCGUINNESS 14 Skiatook 21, PIEDMONT 20 FORT GIBSON 28, Tahlequah 16 NOBLE 21, Tecumseh 14 TULSA MEMORIAL 28, Tulsa Central 12 TULSA KELLEY 34, Tulsa Edison 30 WESTERN HEIGHTS 28, U.S. Grant 22 Vernon (Texas) 27, ALTUS 21 Class 4A McLOUD 35, Bethel 14 TUTTLE 28, Blanchard 21 CUSHING 27, Bristow 24 PAMPA (TEXAS) 28, Elk City 18 Glenpool 35, BERRYHILL 34 SEMINOLE 28, Harrah 27 Hennessey 35, ELGIN 14 CASCIA HALL 28, Holland Hall 20 CACHE 20, Iowa Park (Texas) 17 VINITA 20, JAY 13 TULSA McLAIN 14, Mannford 7 Newcastle 28, PAULS VALLEY 14 Sallisaw 31, CATOOSA 28 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE 42, Santa Fe South 7 Spiro 28, STILWELL 24 METRO CHRISTIAN 35, Tulsa NOAH 27 Woodward 21, KINGFISHER 20 Class 3A Beggs 40, EUFAULA 14 Centennial 28, CAPITOL HILL 12 Chandler 24, OKMULGEE 14 Hartford (Ark.) 28, WESTVILLE 12 Heavener 21, ATOKA 14 STIGLER 28, Hilldale 21 Hugo 35, IDABEL 14 LINCOLN CHRISTIAN 48, Kansas 12 KIEFER 22, Kellyville 16 CHECOTAH 38, Keys (Park Hill) 8 LITTLE AXE 27, Lexington 24 PURCELL 28, Lindsay 21 LONE GROVE 41, Marietta 14 BETHANY 28, Marlow 21 Meeker 20, PRAGUE 18 HENRYETTA 22, Morris 20 CROOKED OAK 28, Mount St. Mary 24 Nowata 38, DEWEY 12 TULSA ROGERS 21, OKC Legion 18 VERDIGRIS 28, Pawhuska 22 SEQ.-CLAREMORE 21, Perkins-Tryon 14 Perry 30, BLACKWELL 14 Plainview 24, SANGER (TEXAS) 21 TULSA WEBSTER 34, SeeWorth Academy 6 OKEMAH 28, Seq.-Tahlequah 20 ADAIR 44, Sperry 21 MILLWOOD 21, Star Spencer 20 WYNNEWOOD 32, Sulphur 17 MADILL 28, Tishomingo 22 Class 2A Caney Valley 22, BARNSDALL 20 Chisholm 28, OKEENE 24 Chouteau 36, FOYIL 14 AFTON 24, Colcord 22 STROUD 28, Commerce 21 Frederick 21, ELECTRA (TEXAS) 20 HASKELL 14, Ketchum 13 MOUNDS 34, Liberty 12 Luther 28, TONKAWA 27 HOBART 42, Mangum 14 Minco 28, DIBBLE 12 OCS 24, RINGLING 20 MORRISON 35, Pawnee 16 Pocola 28, CENTRAL SALLISAW 21 HULBERT 14, Porter 7 Savanna 32, ANTLERS 20 Stratford 35, COALGATE 14 Thomas 21, ALVA 7 Walters 40, WILSON 16 Wellston 28, DRUMRIGHT 14 Wyandotte 42, FAIRLAND 14 Class A Apache 44, RUSH SPRINGS 20 TEXHOMA 28, Booker (Texas) 24 Central Marlow 20, SNYDER 16 Community Christian 31, OCA 20 Cordell 24, SAYRE 12 REJOICE CHRISTIAN 34, Crossings Christian 24 EMPIRE 28, Elmore City 21 OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21, Fairview 20 ELKHART (KAN.) 28, Hooker 14 KONAWA 30, Quinton 28 BEAVER 31, Stanton County (KAN.) 14 Summit Christian 35, WARNER 21 Watonga 28, HINTON 8 Wayne 35, HEALDTON 16 HOLLIS 42, Wellington (Texas) 21 CASHION 48, Yale 14 Class B Arkoma 44, BOKOSHE 8 ALEX 44, Caddo 38 Cave Springs 48, WATTS 8 Cherokee 56, PIONEER 0 Claremore Chr. 42, S. COFFEYVILLE 28 WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN 28, Copan 14 MERRITT 44, Corn Bible 24 GARBER 56, Covington-Douglas 20 Davenport 54, WELEETKA 34 Dewar 60, WOODLAND 28 DEPEW 38, Haileyville 34 Keota 56, IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 14 CYRIL 44, Life Christian 28 SASAKWA 38, Macomb 6 Maud 56, BOWLEGS 6 Maysville 44, PAOLI 12 Mountain View-Gotebo 42, BRAY-DOYLE 6 Oaks 56, GANS 8 WEBBERS FALLS 48, Porum 8 Ryan 42, WAURIKA 12 Seiling 56, SHARON-MUTUAL 38 Strother 40, CANADIAN 32 RINGWOOD 56, Timberlake 38 Waukomis 56, BUFFALO 8 Wetumka 48, ALLEN 42 Class C WAYNOKA 38, Duke 28 Gracemont 40, PRUE 24 Grandfield 56, OKC PATRIOTS 14 BALKO 48, Moscow (Kan.) 18 DESTINY CHR. 44, Southwest Covenant 28 THACKERVILLE 56, Temple 12 Tipton 54, FOX 42 BOISE CITY 28, Wiley (Colo.) 24 Wright Christian 34, MIDWAY 28 Saturday Class 3A Victory Christian 42, JONES 28 (at Choctaw) Class 2A DAVIS 28, Vian 22 (at Choctaw) Class A Mooreland 42, CHISHOLM JV 14 Independent Missouri Deaf 54, OSD 48 *Home team in CAPS
1. Kingfisher (15-0): The defending champions are primed for another title run with a strong defense and championship game star Nick Smith at RB. 2. Douglass (11-2): One of Class 4A’s top teams could be a powerhouse with the move down to 3A. 3. Victory Christian (11-1): Junior QB Keats Calhoon led the state as a sophomore last season with 3,350 yards through the air. 4. Seminole (13-1): Senior...
Class 3A football: Preseason Oklahoma high school football rankings
BY TRENT SHADID | Aug 26, 20141. Kingfisher (15-0): The defending champions are primed for another title run with a strong defense and championship game star Nick Smith at RB. 2. Douglass (11-2): One of Class 4A’s top teams could be a powerhouse with the move down to 3A. 3. Victory Christian (11-1): Junior QB Keats Calhoon led the state as a sophomore last season with 3,350 yards through the air. 4. Seminole (13-1): Senior QB Doc Harvey is one of just two returning starters on an offense that must replace star RB Papi White. 5. Locust Grove (12-1): QB Mason Fine returns after leading the Pirates to one of their most successful seasons. 6. Blanchard (13-1): Replacing RB Braden Stringer won’t be easy, but the Lions return most of their offensive line. 7. Heritage Hall (6-5): The Chargers are looking to contend behind highly touted QB Connor McGinnis. 8. Plainview (13-1): Inexperience is Plainview’s biggest concern after losing 16 starters from last season’s run to the semifinals. 9. Beggs (10-3): RB Kerry Daniels is expected to have another big season after rushing for over 1,500 yards in 2013. 10. Bethany (7-4): QB Kyle Duke is entering his third year as a starter and threw for 1,587 yards last year. 11. Lincoln Christian (8-5): QB Micah Wilson and WR Alec Davidson lead one of 3A’s top passing attacks. 12. Lone Grove (8-3): Junior RB Jeremy Lewis, who rushed for 2,176 yards last season, is one of 19 returning starters. 13. Marlow (6-5): Dual-threat QB Braeden O’Dell gives the Outlaws a versatile athlete to lead Rob Renshaw’s offense. 14. Roland (6-5): QB Manuel Bunch and TE/DE Austin Cantrell make the Rangers a potential sleeper. 15. Berryhill (9-3): Ty Walker returns at QB after accounting for 2,400 yards of offense last season. 16. Stigler (8-3): The Panthers may throw 40-plus times a game this season with senior QB Dylan Bryant. 17. Jones (7-5): Junior DT Ty Hughes will anchor a solid defense while the offense aims to find an identity with a new QB. 18. Spiro (8-3): Senior QB/DB McKinley Whitfield is one of the most talented playmakers in the state. 19. Hilldale (10-3): The Hornets hope to continue their recent success as they’ve won at least nine games in three straight seasons. 20. Cushing (8-3): The Tigers have several holes to fill offensively. 21. Purcell (6-5): The Dragons will look for a repeat playoff appearance behind nine returning starters on defense. 22. Madill (4-6): After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007 last season, the Wildcats are looking for a bounce-back season. 23. Meeker (12-1): The Bulldogs are coming off the best season in school history but are moving up to 3A. 24. Sequoyah-Claremore (6-5): The Eagles are looking to make the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year. 25. Verdigris (2-8): The Cardinals return QB Reece Phillips and leading tackler Seth McLaughlin at LB. 26. Checotah (10-2): Wildcats come to District 3A-6 after winning 3A-8 looking for the same success. 27. John Marshall (4-6): Looking to break through into the postseason in Rashaun Woods’ second year as coach. 28. Sequoyah-Tahlequah (4-6): Talented duo of RB Justin Hooper and QB Zach Parish returns after combining for 2,700 yards last season. 29. Jay (6-5): QB Brandon Weaver leads the way after throwing for 1,698 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. 30. Dewey (5-6): Defense is the biggest concern for the Bulldoggers, who gave up at least 34 points in seven games last season. 31. Sulphur (5-6): Senior RB Nate Johnson and junior QB Cole Palmer have the Bulldogs expecting a second straight playoff trip. 32. Perkins-Tryon (5-6): The Demons are shifting to the spread offense under new coach Bruce Williams. 33. Little Axe (3-7): The Indians return experience at the skill positions led by senior QB Keith Robertson. 34. Centennial (6-5): The Bison are looking to build on their first playoff appearance last season. 35. Inola (5-6): Former Wagoner offensive coordinator Jeff Williams is taking over the Longhorns’ program. 36. Star Spencer (3-7): LB Milon Smith anchors the defense as a four-year starter. 37. Mannford (6-4): The Pirates have to find replacements at QB and RB to build on a winning season last year. 38. Okmulgee (3-8): The Bulldogs return QB Brad Bell and all four members of the starting secondary. 39. Mount St. Mary (4-6): Dual-threat QB Matt Peace is a third-year starter on offense, fourth-year starter at DB. 40. Dickson (6-4): The Comets are looking to build on their first winning season since 2003 under new coach David Gilliam. 41. Eufaula (5-5): The Ironheads are looking for their first winning season since 2008. 42. Pauls Valley (2-8): Senior Coleton Jolley is expected to once again be an impact player at multiple positions. 43. Tulsa Rogers (4-6): The Ropers have dropped from Class 5A to 3A in a span of three years and haven’t had a winning record since 2006. 44. Heavener (2-7): New coach Sam Hembree takes over at his alma mater. 45. Keys-Park Hill (1-9): RB Dakota Matlock is the top returnee for the Cougars’ uptempo offense. 46. Idabel (1-9): Speedy WR K.J. Wells is moving to quarterback for his senior season. 47. Sperry (1-9): The Pirates will need to show improvement on offense after scoring just 87 points last season. 48. Comanche (2-7): Making the transition to 3A under new coach Micah Mashburn after struggling in 2A last season. 49. Tulsa Webster (0-10): The Warriors are moving down a class after going 1-20 in Class 4A over the past two seasons. 50. Kellyville (2-8): Coach Scott Robb takes over a program that hasn’t been to the playoffs in a decade. 51. Valliant (2-8): RB/LB Kaleb Clardy is expected to do it all as a two-way standout. 52. Bethel (0-10): The Wildcats, led by junior QB Caleb Smith, will be looking to snap a 13-game losing streak. 53. Morris (1-9): After winning just one game last season, the Eagles won't have it any easier in 2014 with four 10-win teams in their district. 54. Blackwell (0-10): The Maroons are aiming to snap a 23-game losing streak that goes back to 2011. 55. Westville (0-10): The Yellowjackets surrendered 49 points per game last season. 56. Bridge Creek (0-10): Looking for a turnaround in coach Greg Wallis’ second season. By Trent Shadid, Scott Wright, Jonathan Greco and Chris Brannick
Aug 25, 2014
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A timeline of key events following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.AUG. 9 — Brown and a companion are confronted by an officer as they walk back to Brown's home from a convenience store. Brown and the officer are involved in some kind of scuffle, followed by gunshots. Brown dies at the scene.AUG. 10 — After a...
Key events following the death of Michael Brown
The Associated Press, Associated Press | Aug 25, 2014FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A timeline of key events following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. AUG. 9 — Brown and a companion are confronted by an officer as they walk back to Brown's home from a convenience store. Brown and the officer are involved in some kind of scuffle, followed by gunshots. Brown dies at the scene. AUG. 10 — After a candlelight vigil, people protesting Brown's death smash car windows and carry away armloads of looted goods from stores. In the first of several nights of violence, looters are seen making off with bags of food, toilet paper and alcohol. Some protesters stand atop police cars and taunt officers. AUG. 11 — The FBI opens an investigation into Brown's death, and two men who said they saw the shooting tell reporters that Brown had his hands raised when the officer approached with his weapon and fired repeatedly. That night, police in riot gear fire tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse a crowd. AUG. 12 — Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson cancels plans to release the name of the officer who shot Brown, citing death threats against the police department and City Hall. The Rev. Al Sharpton and President Barack Obama both plead for calm after two nights of clashes between police and protesters. AUG. 13 — Another night of violence wracks Ferguson, with some people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police, who respond with smoke bombs and tear gas. Two reporters are detained at a McDonald's. Images of the standoff, showing police using armored vehicles and pointing assault rifles at the crowds, are widely shared on social media. AUG. 14 — The Missouri Highway Patrol takes control of security in Ferguson, relieving local police of their law-enforcement authority after four days of violence. Within hours, the mood among protesters becomes lighter, even festive. The streets are filled with music, free food and even laughter. AUG. 15 — Police identify the officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old man who had patrolled the St. Louis suburbs for six years. They also release a video purporting to show Brown robbing a convenience store of almost $50 worth of cigars shortly before he was killed. The video draws anger from protesters. After nightfall, officers and the crowds clash again. Some people in the crowd storm into the same convenience store that Brown was accused of robbing and loot it. AUG. 16 — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declares a state of emergency and imposes a curfew in Ferguson. The first night of the curfew ends with tear gas and seven arrests, after police in riot gear use armored vehicles to disperse defiant protesters who refused to leave. AUG. 17— Attorney General Eric Holder orders a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on Brown. The Justice Department cites the "extraordinary circumstances" surrounding the death and a request by Brown's family members. Police use tear gas to clear the street that has been the scene of most protests three hours ahead of the curfew after reports of gunfire, looting and people hurling Molotov cocktails. AUG. 18 — Nixon calls the National Guard to Ferguson to help restore order and lifts the curfew. A pathologist hired by the family says an independent autopsy determined that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. A bullet wound to his right arm may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned, but the autopsy team can't be sure without more information, the pathologist said. AUG. 19 — Nixon says he will not seek the removal of the prosecutor overseeing the investigation into Brown's death. St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch's deep family connections to police have been cited by some black leaders who question his ability to be impartial. In the streets, a more subdued protest unfolds, with smaller crowds, fewer confrontations and no tear gas. AUG. 20 — Holder visits Ferguson to offer assurances about the investigation into Brown's death. He says he understands why many black Americans do not trust police, recalling how he was repeatedly stopped by officers who seemed to target him because of his race. Holder also meets with investigators and Brown's family. In nearby Clayton, a grand jury begins hearing evidence to determine whether Wilson should be charged. Protesters return to the streets but in diminished numbers and with far fewer arrests. AUG. 21 — Nixon orders the National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson after flare-ups have begun to subside. McCulloch reiterates that he has no intention of removing himself from the case, and urges Nixon to decide once and for all if he will act on calls for McCulloch's ouster. AUG. 22 — The streets stay peaceful for another night in Ferguson, and instead of confrontations with police, several protesters stop to talk one-on-one with officers. While many residents are hopeful that tensions are waning, some say they fear the community's anger could explode anew if the grand jury doesn't return a charge against the officer. AUG. 23 —The St. Louis County NAACP holds a youth-led march in Ferguson. A diverse group of marchers, including police officials, gather peacefully. Earlier in the day, a moment of silence is observed at the first home football game at the high school Brown attended. In St. Louis, supporters of Wilson hold a rally. AUG. 24 — Michael Brown's father pleads for a "day of silence" and peace has he prepares to lay his son to rest. Michael Brown Sr. spoke at a festival in St. Louis that promotes peace over violence. The festival had been planned before the Aug. 9 shooting, but took on new resonance in the aftermath. AUG. 25 — Funeral for Brown set for 10 a.m. at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III on Thursday stood by his latest retort against naysayers and said he has no plans to shut down his social media presence, pointing out that "there are 1.1 million people on Twitter" interested in what he has to say.Griffin regularly rebuffs doubters on Twitter and Facebook, but the Washington Redskins quarterback's latest words were more defiant than...
Redskins' RG3 stands by latest social media post
JOSEPH WHITE, Associated Press | Aug 21, 2014ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III on Thursday stood by his latest retort against naysayers and said he has no plans to shut down his social media presence, pointing out that "there are 1.1 million people on Twitter" interested in what he has to say. Griffin regularly rebuffs doubters on Twitter and Facebook, but the Washington Redskins quarterback's latest words were more defiant than usual. "They doubted in High School ... They doubted a turnaround at Baylor ... They doubted a Heisman was possible ... Keep doubting. It's nothing New. Because at the end of the day, in the Griffin Household we read Philippians 4:12-13." Asked to explain the post, Griffin said: "As far as I'm concerned, I said what I needed to say. It is what I believe, and what our household deems necessary to go out every day and be successful." Griffin has always appeared sensitive to criticism. Speaking about the quarterback earlier this year, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said: "He doesn't like negative publicity. ... He wants everybody to love Robert." Asked if he has considered shutting down social media to avoid negative feedback, Griffin referenced his 1.17 million followers. "To each his own. There are 1.1 million people on Twitter that want to hear what the quarterbacks and guys have to say," he said. "And it's not that we tweet all the time, but anytime we tweet something it gets blown up, but it is what it is. "We spend a lot of our day focused on football, so when we get a chance to unwind, whether it's watching reality TV or being on Twitter for five minutes in a day, that's not subtracting what we're doing on the field or in the film room." ___ AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
NORMAN — You would think major college football coaches discourage high school athletes from playing multiple sports and persuade them to focus on football exclusively. Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell does exactly the opposite. “I love to see them play more sports,” Norvell said. “Kids that don’t specialize — kids that play a lot of […]
Oklahoma football: Jay Norvell encourages recruits to play lots of high school sports
Jason Kersey | Aug 19, 2014NORMAN — You would think major college football coaches discourage high school athletes from playing multiple sports and persuade them to focus on football exclusively. Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell does exactly the opposite. “I love to see them play more sports,” Norvell said. “Kids that don’t specialize — kids that play a lot of sports — improve more in college because now they’re just focusing on one thing, and you can really see them make a huge jump.” Norvell has spoken in the past about how much he loves going to watch recruits play high-school basketball. Freshman wide receiver Jeffery Mead was a multi-sport standout at Tulsa Union, playing football, basketball and baseball. The big, tall wideout has impressed Norvell with his understanding of the game so far and his route running. “He really studies the game,” Norvell said. “He has that type of mind where he’s really gonna understand what we ask him to do, and he asks the right questions. “He’s improving very quickly. Smart, athletic guys end up being really good players and we’re excited about Jeffery.”
Aug 19, 2014
WIDE RECEIVER No.#Name#Height#Weight#Class#Hometown 3#Sterling Shepard#5-10#195#Oklahoma City Shepard is by far the most experienced wide receiver back from last year’s team. The former Heritage Hall star has also taken on a leadership role within this position group. After playing the slot most of his collegiate career thus far, he’ll move outside in 2014. 12#Derrick Woods#6-1#186#Inglewood,...
Oklahoma football: Breaking down the wide receivers and tight ends
By Jason Kersey | Aug 19, 2014WIDE RECEIVER No.#Name#Height#Weight#Class#Hometown 3#Sterling Shepard#5-10#195#Oklahoma City Shepard is by far the most experienced wide receiver back from last year’s team. The former Heritage Hall star has also taken on a leadership role within this position group. After playing the slot most of his collegiate career thus far, he’ll move outside in 2014. 12#Derrick Woods#6-1#186#Inglewood, Calif. Woods only caught two passes last year, but one was huge. He went up and grabbed a critical 20-yard pass in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama that converted a third-and-12. SLOT RECEIVER 1#K.J. Young#6-0#177#; RFr.#Perris, Calif. After redshirting a year ago, Young appears to have firmly inserted himself into the starting lineup. Coaches and teammates have frequently praised him this preseason. 2#Michiah Quick#6-0#170#Fr.#Fresno Calif. The true freshman will push for immediate playing time after dazzling everyone with his physical ability throughout fall camp. WIDE RECEIVER 5#Durron Neal#5-11#201#Jr.#St. Louis Neal hasn’t exactly torn it up through his first two seasons, but by all accounts, he’s stepped up in a big way since last spring. Will this finally be the year he breaks through? 17#Jordan Smallwood#6-2#212#RFr.#Jenks A preseason injury forced Smallwood to redshirt in 2013, but he’s made a splash so far and will definitely have lots of opportunities to contribute this year. RESERVES 81#Mark Andrews#6-6#236#Fr.#Scottsdale, Ariz. The big, tall wideout could have a bright future, but likely redshirts in 2014. 83#Nick Basquine#6-0#170#Fr.#Norman This walk-on from Norman North was mentioned specifically by Trevor Knight at Big 12 Media Days as someone who had impressed him this summer. 8#Austin Bennett#6-0#175#So.#Manvel, Texas Bennett saw limited action as a true freshman and could easily work his way into the regular rotation. 84#Grant Bothun#5-11#186#Jr.#Rowlett, Texas The team’s holder, Bothun’s claim to fame is a fake field goal touchdown pass to kicker Michael Hunnicutt in last year’s Bedlam thriller. 7#Dannon Cavil#6-4#214#RFr.#San Antonio Cavil redshirted last season, somewhat surprising considering he enrolled early and went through spring football in 2013. Still, he’s absolutely talented enough to get plenty of opportunities this year. 88#Cody Chancellor#6-1#184#So.#Oklahoma City Chancellor walked on after his standout high school career at Bishop McGuinness ended two years ago. 11#Dorial Green-Beckham#6-6#225#Jr.#Springfield, Mo. If Green-Beckham wins his appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility, he instantly becomes a starter and supplants Shepard as the Sooners’ most seasoned wide receiver. If he doesn’t get a waiver, will he ever play a down in an OU uniform? 15#Jeffery Mead#6-6#184#Fr.#Tulsa Receivers coach Jay Norvell has specifically mentioned Mead as someone worth keeping an eye on. The former Tulsa Union standout has already impressed Norvell with his route running. 16#Dallis Todd#6-5#204#Fr.#La Mirada, Calif. The former four-star prospect was expected to see early action — and still may — but it sounds like he might need a little more time to adapt to the college game. TIGHT END 10#Blake Bell#6-6#259#Sr.#Wichita, Kan. First, he was the Belldozer. Then he was the Sooners’ starting quarterback for eight games in 2013. Now, everyone inside the program insists he really is a tight end — and that he really is good at it. Knight-to-Bell for a few touchdowns in 2014 would make for a pretty neat story considering how the two were in a season-long quarterback battle last year. 88#Taylor McNamara#6-5#245#So.#San Diego McNamara caught his first career pass in the Sugar Bowl, and grabbed two touchdowns in April’s spring game. After some injury problems cost him early playing time, is McNamara finally ready to showcase his talent at this level? RESERVES 80#Isaac Ijalana#6-4#247#So.#Mount Holly, N.J. Ijalana, a junior-college transfer, might have a hard time seeing much playing time on offense in 2014 behind Bell and McNamara. 89#Connor Knight#6-4#244#So.#San Antonio Trevor Knight’s twin brother, an OU walk-on, plays a lot of special teams and is a hard worker. 45#Carson Meier#6-6#226#Fr.#Tulsa The former Tulsa Union standout has the potential to be a great OU tight end eventually, but will likely redshirt this year.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It hit Marcus Smith the same way it does all rookies. No matter how much they prepare, or how high they were drafted, there's still that instant bit of shock in that first game."When I first got out there it was like, 'This is it, I'm in the NFL. Wow," the Philadelphia Eagles' top choice said. "You're playing your first NFL game it takes a while for it to all set in. Then,...
Eagles' top pick Marcus Smith eases into action
Associated Press | Aug 11, 2014PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It hit Marcus Smith the same way it does all rookies. No matter how much they prepare, or how high they were drafted, there's still that instant bit of shock in that first game. "When I first got out there it was like, 'This is it, I'm in the NFL. Wow," the Philadelphia Eagles' top choice said. "You're playing your first NFL game it takes a while for it to all set in. Then, as the game went along, I got into the flow more, and it's just playing football again." Smith, from Louisville and the 26th overall pick in last May's draft, is being eased into action in Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis' 3-4 defense. The rookie has taken snaps in practice at both outside linebacker positions, backing up veteran starters Trent Cole and Connor Barwin. Smith played over 40 snaps in the Eagles' preseason opener Friday night in Chicago. He was mostly on the left side, where Davis employs the "Jack" linebacker, and spent some time on the right side, where he rushed the quarterback. "I'm getting there," Smith said after Monday's walk-through before leaving for a three-day joint practice with the New England Patriots. "I feel I'm learning something every day and getting better every day. By the time that first game rolls around, I'll be ready to go." Despite the fact that he finished second in the nation in sacks last year with 14 1/2, the rookie looked better against the run. He also did well in coverage, where he knocked away one pass and made a great play to tackle wide receiver Josh Morgan for a loss, only to be negated by a penalty on the other side of the field. In a dozen or so pass rushes, he had one hurry. "It's very fair to say that," Davis said of Smith being better in coverage and against the run. "I think you saw his athleticism. Again, those guys are thinking a lot. The very first preseason game is always their hardest. They have the most nerves. They have the 'wow' factor. They're in the NFL. "That settles after a couple plays, couple quarters. Now you typically see the second third and fourth preseason game with young guys, you see big growth because the nervous part, the, 'Oh, my God, that's Jay Cutler over there,' whoever it is, is kind of gone." This week, Smith gets to see Tom Brady and the Patriots. "Everybody knows they're a good team," Smith said. "And Tom Brady, he's a God, especially up there. I'm not going to mess with him. I just want to get close, get some pass rush, let him know I can play." "But Tom Brady is a guy I grew up watching and idolizing a little bit, because remember I was a quarterback in high school. So, he was one of those guys I always watched," he said. Smith's reps will increase this week, as Davis tries to get more and more acclimated into a system that he is picking up fairly well for a rookie. "We'll get some guys in a little more Friday night, but we're also going to try to do it in practice against New England, so we can see our twos or threes against their ones," Davis said. "It's easier to do it there than in the games." "The hard part about the games you don't know how many more reps are left. How many three-and-outs are going to happen?" he said. "So against New England in practice, we'll definitely be moving the roster around for evaluation purposes."
Aug 10, 2014
The transition to the college game, as it relates to holding onto the ball, was difficult for Ford.
Oklahoma football notebook: Keith Ford working on ball security
By Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey | Aug 10, 2014If it weren’t for a fumbling issue last year, Keith Ford might be looked upon as the most likely candidate to become the Sooners’ top running back this season. But those ball security issues limited Ford’s play in the second half of last season. “Coach (Cale) Gundy constantly talks about ball security and everybody knows that,” Ford said. “I just have to worry about it myself and do the little things to make sure the ball is secure. Everybody had to do the same things, and we all work on it and we all try to improve on ball security.” The transition to the college game, as it relates to holding onto the ball, was difficult for Ford. “In high school, everybody isn’t trying to go for the ball,” Ford said. “At this level, everyone is trying to strip because everyone is trying to create turnovers. “The transition from high school to college is a very big step. Speaking as a guy who went through it last year, it’s a big transition.” THOMAS HIGH ON PARKER Sophomore Ahmad Thomas has liked what he’s seen of freshman safety Steven Parker so far. “He’s a fast guy,” Thomas said. “A good cover guy. And he’ll come down and hit someone.” As a freshman last year, Thomas earned some playing time in the secondary and spent plenty of time on special teams. His adjustment, he said, was quick. He expects the same out of Parker. “For me, when I came in at first it was the range and the speed was different,” Thomas said. “That’s all. He’s just got to get used to covering faster guys, bigger guys. That’s it.” NEAL BECOMING A BETTER BLOCKER Junior receiver Durron Neal said he’s worked on improving his blocking since last season. “It’s one of those small things,” Neal said. “In our meeting room we’ve got hustle blocks on the wall. That’s one of the things that coach Jay (Norvell) and our offense strive on, making that extra block like the Kenny (Stills) block in the Texas game with Damien (Williams). Those are the blocks that spring a 15-yard run to a touchdown. That’s something that we pride ourselves in as receivers, doing the little things. “If you keep blocking the corner every single time, eventually he’s goign to wear out and that’s when you hit him with the big play.”
LAGRANGE, Ga. (AP) — Former Auburn football player Philip Lutzenkirchen and the driver involved in a fatal crash were both legally intoxicated, according to the Georgia State Patrol's toxicology report released Wednesday.The report shows that Lutzenkirchen had a blood alcohol level of 0.377 at the time of the one-vehicle crash in Troup County on June 30. The 23-year-old was a passenger in the...
Report: Lutzenkirchen, driver both intoxicated
Associated Press | Aug 6, 2014LAGRANGE, Ga. (AP) — Former Auburn football player Philip Lutzenkirchen and the driver involved in a fatal crash were both legally intoxicated, according to the Georgia State Patrol's toxicology report released Wednesday. The report shows that Lutzenkirchen had a blood alcohol level of 0.377 at the time of the one-vehicle crash in Troup County on June 30. The 23-year-old was a passenger in the car when it ran off the road and overturned at about 3 a.m. The report also indicated that driver Joseph Ian Davis, who was also killed, had a blood alcohol level of 0.17. He was 22. The legal limit in Georgia is 0.08. The Chevrolet Tahoe ran a stop sign near LaGrange. Two other passengers, Christian Case and Elizabeth Craig, were injured and transported to West Georgia Health Systems in LaGrange. Lutzenkirchen and Craig were both ejected from the SUV while Davis was partially ejected. Several thousand people attended a public memorial for Lutzenkirchen at his alma matter Lassiter High School's stadium in Marietta, Georgia. The service was attended by Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, athletic director Jay Jacobs and several dozen current and former Auburn players. Malzahn said Lutzenkirchen will "be remembered as one of the best players to ever put on an Auburn jersey." Lutzenkirchen was the first player Malzahn recruited when he arrived as Auburn's offensive coordinator after the 2008 season. The fan favorite played for Auburn from 2009 to 2012 and set a school record for tight ends with 14 touchdown catches. Lutzenkirchen's biggest reception was for the game-winning touchdown against Alabama during the 2010 national championship season.
Aug 4, 2014
Neal seems poised for a breakout this season. Sooners coach Bob Stoops heaped praise on Neal on Saturday, saying the junior had “taken it to another level.”
Oklahoma football: Durron Neal hopes patience pays off this season
By Ryan Aber | Aug 4, 2014NORMAN — Durron Neal expected to be a star by now. Coming in two years ago as a four-star recruit and the No. 9 wide receiver in the country by Rivals.com, the St. Louis product thought he was ticketed for quick success. Instead, Neal has had just 18 catches for 251 yards and has yet to score a touchdown in two seasons for Oklahoma. “It can be frustrating but Coach Jay (Norvell) and my parents always told me just to humble yourself and God has a plan for everybody,” Neal said. “Everybody’s road is different. You just can’t get frustrated when it doesn’t look good at first. “My step-dad always told me to celebrate slow starts because it’s all going to be worth it in the end.” Neal seems poised for a breakout this season. Sooners coach Bob Stoops heaped praise on Neal on Saturday, saying the junior had “taken it to another level.” Neal hopes so. But Neal could be critical to the Sooners’ receiving group in another way — he’s been a big part of helping Missouri transfer Dorial Green-Beckham get acclimated since his arrival in Norman. Neal’s and Green-Beckham’s relationship dates back to high school when the two played four hours apart in Missouri. Neal tried to convince Green-Beckham to join him in Norman out of high school. Green-Beckham tried to sway Neal to instead head to Columbia to play for the Tigers. “When I found out he was coming, I was very excited,” Neal said. “He finally made the right choice.” Green-Beckham’s eligibility for this year remains up in the air, as OU awaits to submit his paperwork to the NCAA in hopes of gaining immediate eligibility. For now, Neal is helping Green-Beckham prepare as if he’ll play. “He comes in, he’s ready to work,” Neal said. “He asks questions. He makes plays out there on the field. Nothing has changed with that. Just when I talk to him, (you can tell) it’s frustrating just waiting on the outcome.” But Neal also wants to be a big-time contributor himself. With Jalen Saunders, Lacoltan Bester and Jaz Reynolds departed, Neal is the Sooners’ second most experienced receiver behind Sterling Shepard. “We know a lot of questions are going around our receiving corps with Jalen and Colt and Jaz leaving,” Neal said. “We like that. We’re going to prove everybody wrong. We know we believe in ourselves and our teammates believe in us and our coaches believe in us.” It’s time, Neal said, to become the player coaches and fans expected when he was brought in. “I’m ready for the challenge,” he said. “I’ve been here for two years. I know all my assignments. I’ve learned from some great players. This is the year that everybody on the team and my coaches expect me to be a great player that they recruited.” Neal spent the offseason working on his footwork and route-running. “It’s been a tremendous amount of change,” Neal said. “That’s the one thing I’ve focused on this summer was just running my routes and working on coming out with my cuts faster and attacking the deep ball. “We need deep plays down the field, and I want to be the guy making those big plays.”
The Tigers return eight offensive starters, including quarterback Brennon Barth, who threw for 712 yards last season and ran for 1,822 and 37 touchdowns in Pryor’s triple-option offense.
District 5A-4 football preview: Pryor run game could dominate
By Cody Stavenhagen and Jacob Unruh | Aug 2, 2014Running the ball is what the Pryor Tigers do best, and they might do it better than ever in 2014. The Tigers return eight offensive starters, including quarterback Brennon Barth, who threw for 712 yards last season and ran for 1,822 and 37 touchdowns in Pryor’s triple-option offense. That run game might have to make up for some youth on defense, though. Pryor will start seven new faces defensively. But even that isn’t taking away from coach Jason Freeman’s confidence in a team coaches picked as co-favorites in District 5A-4. “Some of those guys have played, just haven’t started, so it’s not like I’m throwing seven sophomores out there who haven’t seen the Friday night lights,” Freeman said. KOSCHESKI LEADS REPLACEMENT OF STRONG SENIOR CLASS Shawn Koscheski started the first six games of 2013 at quarterback for Collinsville in place of an injured Zane McElroy, but now the reins of the offense are all his. Koscheski threw for 663 yards and six touchdowns last year, and he’ll have help from returning 1,000-yard rusher Ryan Haymaker. However, Collinsville lost three offensive linemen, three receivers and the bulk of its secondary from last season’s team that finished 10-3. “We had a good core group of senior who were great leaders, and we’ll need some young men to step forward and resume that,” coach Kevin Jones said. “We’re not worried, we’ve got some great, young talent; a phenomenal sophomore class that are great athletes and high-character kids.” COWETA’S CAGNEY ROBERSON EARNS OFFER FROM EMPORIA STATE In Coweta, there’s nothing wrong with new. First-year coach Jay Wilkinson has high hopes for a team featuring several athletes who are returning to football after not playing for years. Among those is receiver Cagney Roberson, who was offered by Emporia State despite not playing a down since seventh grade. “I told (Emporia State), ‘I have no idea what he’s going to look like come the fall, but as far as raw talent, this is a guy to keep an eye on,’” Wilkinson said. After Emporia State took interest and Roberson was highly impressive at an ESU camp, he got the offer. “That doesn’t happen every day, but it’s a testament to there being a lot of kids who focus on one sport who have a chance to do multiple sports in high school,” Wilkinson said. EAST CENTRAL’S CHERRY PICKING UP INTEREST AS DB Two years ago, Tulsa East Central quarterback Tre’von Cherry looked primed to be one of the top recruits in the Class of 2015 as the starting quarterback for the Class 5A state runner-up. The Cardinals went 4-7 last season, a down year that overshadowed Cherry’s performance. That is, until this summer when he put on display his athleticism at multiple camps, garnering interest from Tulsa, Louisville and Memphis among others as a defensive back. “He’s definitely shown that he’s got the athletic ability,” Tulsa East Central coach Kenny Evans said. “The intangibles, the leadership qualities, those are things I’m trying to help him with so that he can pull those other players up there with him. That’s what will give us a chance.” Cherry threw for 2,441 yards, 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season. He also rushed for 461 yards and nine touchdowns. EXTRA POINTS Tahlequah coach Brad Gilbert on a 17-player senior class: “When you’ve been a struggling football program as long as Tahlequah has, those numbers usually aren’t there with your seniors.” … Mike Loyd is entering his first year at the helm of a struggling Grove program, but optimism is there thanks to plans for new facilities and 90-100 players showing up for summer workouts. … Sophomore Marcus Mays will play quarterback for Tulsa Edison, and coach D.J. Howell raved about his ability. “I saw him when I first got to Edison at a junior high basketball game, and he could dunk as an eighth-grader,” Howell said. DISTRICT 5A-4 COACHES’ POLL T1. Pryor (8-4) T1. Collinsville (10-3) 3. Tulsa East Central (4-7) 4. Coweta (4-6) 5. Edison (4-6) 6. Tahlequah (1-9) 7. Grove (2-8) *Last year’s record in parentheses
Aug 2, 2014
Asked if Blake Bell would start the Sooners’ first game, against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 30, Bob Stoops wouldn’t be definitive. But he didn’t downplay it either.
Oklahoma football notebook: Bob Stoops says Blake Bell could be starting tight end
BY RYAN ABER AND JASON KERSEY | Aug 2, 2014Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has done plenty of bragging on Blake Bell since the senior decided to switch from quarterback to tight end after last season. Saturday at OU’s Media Day, Stoops continued, with one addition. Asked if Bell would start the Sooners’ first game, against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 30, Stoops wouldn’t be definitive. But he didn’t downplay it either. “Oh, there’s a good chance of that depending on what else happens,” Stoops said. He also said Bell looked “like he’s played it his whole life.” Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was also high on Bell’s transition. “He dramatically changes the ability for play-action passes in the middle of the football field because of his size and length,” Heupel said. “That’s a huge target we haven’t had here since we lost James Hanna.” Bell said he was happy to have a chance to contribute, wherever it was. “I just want to play football,” Bell said. “Getting your hand down in a stance is hard for a little bit but other than that, it’s just running around, seeing coverages, having fun, trying to block guys. “It’s been tough but it’s all good.” SHANNON SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS Oklahoma junior linebacker Frank Shannon was the subject of a Title IX sexual misconduct investigation after a female OU student accused him of sexually assaulting her in his off-campus apartment more than six months ago. Shannon was never charged in criminal court, but didn’t participate in the Sooners’ April spring game while he was being investigated. He went through summer workouts with the team and on Saturday, participated in Meet the Sooners Day, signing autographs for young fans. The junior wasn’t made available to reporters a few hours later during media day, though. “Nothing’s changed in his situation,” Stoops said during his Saturday news conference. “Right now they haven’t resolved anything. He’s currently doing everything he had been doing. That’s what hasn’t changed.” Shannon, the leading tackler on last year’s Sugar Bowl champion team, is still working his way through a lengthy appeals process relating to the university’s Title IX investigation. HUMPHREY COMMITS TO SOONERS Oklahoma picked up a commitment from three-star wide receiver John Humphrey on Saturday, when the League City, Texas, native was on an unofficial visit. Humphrey — from Clear Falls High School in League City, Texas — also holds scholarship offers from Arkansas, Baylor California, Clemson, Louisville, Ole Miss, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon State, TCU and Texas Tech. He was committed to Baylor between April and June. The 6-foot, 160-pound receiver is the Sooners’ 10th commitment in its 2015 recruiting class, and the first wideout in the group. Humphrey also becomes Oklahoma’s seventh commitment from the state of Texas. Rivals ranks Humphrey as the 88th-best wide receiver in the country for the recruiting class of 2015. He is also a standout defensive back, and Baylor was considering playing him on defense. Humphrey is also an accomplished track star. He runs the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and is on a relay team for Clear Falls. ONUOHA NOT WITH TEAM Redshirt sophomore defensive end Michael Onuoha won’t play this season. “Academic reasons,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said when addressing Onuoha’s absence. Onuoha missed all of last season with a shoulder injury after playing four games as a true freshman in 2012. NORVELL: QUICK COULD PLAY … QUICKLY With just one receiver returning with significant experience — junior Sterling Shepard — the Sooners are in need of young, inexperienced receivers making big strides over the next month. OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said freshman wide receiver Michiah Quick was a strong candidate for fast playing time. “Quick’s probably a little bit closer to playing at this point than any of them,” Norvell said when discussing the freshman receivers. Norvell raved about the freshman from Fresno, Calif., moments before. “Quick is just like his name,” Norvell said. “He’s very quick. Very mature player. You always hate to have comparisons to other players but he learns things easily and quickly. “He has those kinds of qualities, which really is exciting.” STOOPS TALKS UP DEEP SNAPPER Deep snappers typically don’t get a tong of publicity and coaches rarely bring up their names unless it’s to talk about a mistake. But Stoops on Saturday brought up OU’s freshman deep snapper when running through the standouts from the first three days of camp. “Wesley Horky is a magnificent long snapper if there can be such a thing,” Stoops said. “He snaps is back there with a spiral every time and just your operation time has been reduced significantly when you have a guy that can do that and that really helps you protect. He’s really consistent with it.”
Jul 31, 2014
With OSU football on the verge of losing two hours of practice time a week due to inadequate academic progress, someone in the athletic department discovered a 1990s-era walk-on who unknowingly redeemed the Cowboys by keeping a promise.
Oklahoma State football: The old Cowboy who saved OSU from an NCAA sanction
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Jul 31, 2014MOORE — He couldn’t believe the TV report. So he picked up his remote to rewind and start from the beginning. The former Oklahoma State wide receiver heard the news late Tuesday as he relaxed at home after another day at the office. He and his longtime girlfriend had just finished a grilled chicken dinner and were sitting on a living room loveseat. The NCAA was dropping its penalty against the OSU football team for poor academics over the past four years, the reporter said. The Cowboys no longer faced a two-hour practice cut from their weekly schedule this season. Great news, hopefully I can get tickets for the opener, Larry Mahsetky thought. He loved that live college football atmosphere. It reminded him of the glory days playing for coach Pat Jones. The TV report continued. Academic records from a 1990s-era football player had not been included in OSU’s original report that led to the sanctions. That player had only recently graduated, giving the Cowboys a needed grades boost to meet the NCAA’s minimum academic requirement. No way. Mahsetky looked over to his girlfriend. He said she called it from the start. But really, how many people could have played OSU football in the 1990s, but graduated less than four years ago? Just one. Larry Mahsetky. He’s the man whose academic achievements gave his alma mater two more hours of practice each week this season. The man who will forever be remembered for his contributions to the program — nothing to do with anything he’s ever done on the playing field. By returning to school more than 20 years after he first stepped into a college classroom, the 41-year-old might have changed the course of a college football season. “Getting OSU out of NCAA sanctions,” Mahsetky said, “is just icing on the cake.” The only thing Mahsetky really cared about through the whole process? Keeping a promise to his mother. Tommy Boy route Mahsetky first arrived on campus in Stillwater as a freshman in 1991. At 6-foot-1 and barely 180 pounds, he fit the bill as a walk-on wide receiver for a Cowboy football team that won just four games the year before. Mahsetky was a standout at Westmoore High School, earning all-conference, all-district and Oklahoman All-City honors. He could have played on scholarship at a number of small schools in the state, but he grew up idolizing the heroics of Barry Sanders and Hart Lee Dykes. Mahsetky always dreamt of being a Cowboy. He played for OSU from 1991 to 1995. Coach Pat Jones put Mahsetky on scholarship after he shined in the 1992 spring game. But Mahsetky wanted to be a sports broadcaster someday and even interned at KWTV under the late Bill Teegins for two summers. But everything changed in the spring of 1996. That’s when Mahsetky received a job offer from an information technology company in Austin. It wasn’t in broadcast journalism and he was just a few classes away from graduation. But the move and the pay was too good to pass up. However, not everyone close to Mahsetky agreed. “After five years of being in school and being three classes short of graduation, my mother was not happy at all,” Mahsetky said. “But I gave her my word that I would go back and graduate.” Mahetsky worked in Texas the next 13 years for various technology companies but returned to Oklahoma in 2008 for another business venture. By 2011, he was speaking with OSU counselors about how to finish his degree. By the fall of 2012, he was enrolled in classes at Oklahoma City Community College that would transfer as OSU credit. Native-American Studies, algebra and another history course; with his aspirations as a broadcast journalist long gone, all he needed was passing grades in those three courses to complete a university studies degree. “When I walked into class for the first time,” Mahsetky said. “They thought I was the professor.” As the old-guy persona wore off, Mahsetky got to work. For the first time in more than 20 years, he was calculating algebra equations as homework, reading history textbooks and studying for final exams. By December, he had passed all three courses with ease. Promise fulfilled. “I want this to be motivation for other people out there, young and old,” Mahsetky said. “You can go back out there and finish your degree no matter how late in time that it is ... I took the Tommy Boy route, you could say.” Scavenger hunt The series of events that led to the NCAA relinquishing its penalty against the OSU football program had to be exact, making it all the more unlikely. Had Mahsetky earned his diploma as he returned to Oklahoma in 2008 or if he were still in classes today, the sanctions would likely remain in place. Had Jones not put Mahsetky on scholarship, his academic record wouldn’t impact the athletic department’s current standing. But the good timing doesn’t stop there. The NCAA penalized OSU because its football team failed to meet academic standards, known as Academic Progress Rate (APR), when averaged over a four-year period. The APR is a sport-based metric built on two factors for each scholarship athlete per term: eligibility (1 point) and retention (1 point). Athletes can earn as many four points for their program in any given year, according to the NCAA. The Cowboys needed a 930 score to pass in 2014. They posted a 929.41. So when the punishment dropped in May, the OSU compliance office went on a scavenger hunt of sorts. All they needed was a single point to get those two hours of practice time back. That meant countless hours of studying old football rosters and graduation lists — hoping to catch something they missed in October when OSU’s initial academic reports were sent to the NCAA. And the department had reason to be hopeful. Kevin Fite, senior associate athletic director for compliance, said a “records-keeping issue” prevents former OSU student athletes before 1999 from being flagged in its institutional system. That’s where Mahsetky’s timing comes in. APR guidelines award a single point if a scholarship student athlete leaves his or her institution without graduating and then comes back to earn a diploma later on. The point is applied to the school’s APR score for the term in which that person graduates, not when he or she was last a scholarship athlete, according to NCAA bylaws. So, back to the scavenger hunt. About a month ago, Fite said a senior staffer was pouring over anything that could have been missed because of the gap in the system. And then suddenly — jackpot. “A staff member, who has been here a long time, saw a graduation roll and said, ‘Hey, that guy’s a football player,’” Fite said. “We were able to go to our bursar’s office and determined he was on aid. And we basically catch an extra point.” Fite would not provide the football player’s name, citing federal privacy laws, but did say the player was a fall 2012 graduate. The Oklahoman confirmed the player was Mahsetky by comparing 1990s-era OSU football media guide rosters to an online database of fall 2012 OSU graduates. Roughly 400 names were entered before “Mahsetky” provided a match. A quick internet search found his employer. When contacted and asked if he was the player in question, even Mahsetky didn’t know. He had suspicions it might be him after the news report but had since brushed it off. So Mahsetky called OSU compliance to find out. Sure enough, he was the guy. “It does have some impact on some people and it does feel good,” Mahsetky said. “I never thought I would be in this position.” Gift for mom Mahsetky didn’t walk across the stage for graduation back in December 2012. It just didn’t seem necessary. He told his mother, Susie Carey, he had finished. But that was it. “I thought, that’s great,” Carey said. “But I want to see the diploma.” On a cool July evening this week, mother and son sat together just outside Moore in Carey’s backyard near a newly installed pool to reflect on the moment it all came together. A few months after graduation, the large white envelope came in the mail with a “DO NOT BEND” sticker plastered the front. “I opened it up and sure enough, it was this diploma sitting right here,” Mahsetky said, holding up the now framed document. “And I cried,” Carey added. Mahsetky won’t attempt to embellish his football career. In his words, he “did not contribute much on the field.” What he takes most from his experience as a Cowboy football player are the friendships and the memories — locker room chats with the likes of Daryl “Boogie” Johnson, Jay Grosfield, Ronnie Fisher and Jevon Langford; a 12-0 Bedlam victory in 1995; and the list goes on. Today, Mahsetky is the marketing director for the Whitten Newman Family Foundation, a non-profit based in downtown Oklahoma City. He oversees a number of charitable organizations that help everyone from impoverished children of war in Africa to Native American students in Oklahoma. Mahsetky said he’s looking forward to game days in Stillwater this fall. He understands it’s possible his role in OSU receiving more practice time might make him a sort-of celebrity among fans. So what will happen if he’s offered a free beer as thanks while tailgating? “Not a beer, I don’t drink anymore,” Mahsetky laughed. “But I would definitely take some cheese fries from Eskimo Joe’s.” Carey said she’s obviously proud of her son and echoed his statement that his story should be proof that age shouldn’t dictate educational goals. Now, she has a constant reminder. When Mahsetky received the diploma, he knew exactly where to place it. “I’ve got it nicely framed in my mother’s house, in her office,” Mahsetky said. “I gave it to her.”
Jul 26, 2014
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Almost as soon as he signed with the Chicago Bears, Jimmy Clausen got some tutoring on the offense from Jay Cutler.If everything goes according to plan, his knowledge of the system won't be tested in a meaningful way.The Bears would love nothing more than to see Cutler get through the season without missing time and render the backup quarterback spot a...
For Bears, backup QB 1 of few questions on offense
ANDREW SELIGMAN, Associated Press | Jul 26, 2014BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Almost as soon as he signed with the Chicago Bears, Jimmy Clausen got some tutoring on the offense from Jay Cutler. If everything goes according to plan, his knowledge of the system won't be tested in a meaningful way. The Bears would love nothing more than to see Cutler get through the season without missing time and render the backup quarterback spot a non-issue. Instead, it's one of the few areas of concern for an offense that ranked among the league's best last season and has all its starters back. For now, coach Marc Trestman has the returning Jordan Palmer in the lead. Then, there's Clausen trying to win it, with rookie David Fales likely trailing the pack. "They're both very hungry," Cutler said. "They've both worked extremely hard this offseason putting in the time mentally, which is probably more important for them right now, just trying to figure out the playbook so they can go to the line of scrimmage and be fluent in what they want to do. We'll see how it goes." There is no shortage of eyes on this competition, given Cutler's history of injuries and the departure of veteran Josh McCown. He played his way to a starting role in Tampa Bay after making the most of his opportunity when he got the call with the Bears last season. Now, Palmer and Clausen are competing. Neither has thrown a pass since 2010, but assuming the Bears don't bring in someone else, one of them could be called on if Cutler gets hurt. "The guys are doing a heck of a job in terms of what we've seen," Trestman said Saturday after the Bears completed their second training camp practice. "I think you've seen it. I think you've seen some pretty sufficient play in the backup role." Trestman and general manager Phil Emery expressed confidence in Palmer as the No. 2 quarterback early in the offseason. But that didn't stop them from giving him some competition. The Bears signed Clausen, the former Notre Dame star, to a one-year deal in early June following a strong workout. Almost as soon as the ink dried on his contract, he found himself getting a crash course in the system from Cutler. "He helped me out a lot, especially that first day, going through the formations and just the basic things they do in this offense," Clausen said. "Obviously you get a whole entire playbook, but a lot of the plays in the playbook aren't necessarily the ones you run. So he kind of went through pretty much the whole entire playbook and said, 'Hey, you need to know this, this and this.' He really helped me a lot." The Bears know just how important the backup spot can be given Cutler's history. He hasn't played a full 16 games since 2009, his first season in Chicago after being acquired from Denver, and he has missed 13 over the past four years. He sat out five last season, forcing McCown into action, and the veteran performed about as well as anyone could have expected. He went 3-2 in five starts and appeared in eight games overall, throwing for 1,829 yards with 13 touchdowns and just one interception. It was quite a turn for someone who was coaching high school football in North Carolina when the Bears signed him late in the 2011 season, with Caleb Hanie struggling after Cutler broke his thumb and the team in a freefall. Now, the Bears are wondering: Can Palmer or Clausen be this season's McCown? They're looking at one guy (Palmer) who has attempted just 15 passes since he entered the league in 2008 and another (Clausen) who flopped in Carolina. Clausen completed 52.5 percent of his passes and threw for 1,558 yards as a rookie with the Panthers, but he also threw three times as many interceptions (nine) as touchdowns (three). Carolina then drafted Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick in 2011, and Clausen hasn't played since then. His four-year rookie contract with the Panthers expired after last season, which he spent on the waived/injured list because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He has dealt with questions about his attitude over the years, just like Cutler, but he's getting another opportunity with the Bears. "A lot of people say different things about me or different guys on the team or Jay or whoever it may be," Clausen said. "But until you get to really know that person, then you can make your own judgment." NOTES: CB Tim Jennings (quad) sat out Saturday's practice while DE Willie Young (quad) left early. Trestman said neither injury is serious. ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Jul 22, 2014
DALLAS (AP) — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn't be in the national championship game.The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships."'I've been part of two national championships. The place...
Texas' Strong prefers not talking national title
STEPHEN HAWKINS, Associated Press | Jul 22, 2014DALLAS (AP) — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn't be in the national championship game. The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships. "'I've been part of two national championships. The place (Florida) that I won it at, we never talked about going and winning a national championship," Strong said. "You expect them to have expectations at the University of Texas because you're at a premier program. But it's all about our players and just making sure we go compete. I don't ever want to put pressure on our team, on our players at all. I just want them to go out and just go to work each and every day." The Longhorns haven't even won a Big 12 title since the 2009 season, when they made it to the national championship game, which is the primary reason Mack Brown is no longer the Texas coach. Oklahoma is the preseason favorite to win its league-high ninth Big 12 title. Texas, which appeared with the Sooners, West Virginia, Kansas State and Iowa State on the second day of media days, is picked fourth. Strong said his national championship comment on the first stop of the spring tour came as the Longhorns had just finished spring practice. "We were not a healthy football team at that time," Strong said. "I can't say just how far off we are and that we will not know that until we go compete this fall. But we still have work to do. Now, we're not as bad as we used to be." Strong said quarterback David Ash played "very well" when healthy last season and is the starter. Ash has been cleared to participate in contact drills after missing most of last season with concussion symptoms and part of spring drills with a broken left foot. Oklahoma coach Bo Stoops sounded hopeful about possibly adding two proven offensive players this season, and not having to wait until 2015 for former Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and quarterback Baker Mayfield, a true freshman starter for Texas Tech last season when he threw for 2,315 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight games. Green-Beckham was dismissed by Missouri in April after several off-field incidents, and this month got to Oklahoma, where Stoops and receivers coach Jay Norvell had personally recruited him out of high school. The Sooners have filed an appeal seeking for him to be able to play this season, a year after 59 catches and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore at Mizzou. "Through extensive conversations with the people at Missouri and our people, it was something that we felt the person that he is, the potential that he has as a young man and as an individual, that we felt the opportunity to give him a second chance at our place could serve him well and be great for his future," Stoops said. Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury referred to "just team policy" for a decision blocking Mayfield, who wasn't on scholarship at Texas Tech, from being able to play immediately at Oklahoma without losing a season of eligibility. "'A guy that you haven't invested a scholarship in, I don't know why it would be an issue," Stoops said. "It's something that we're working through." Bill Snyder will turn 75 during the upcoming season, his 23rd as Kansas State's coach. Told by one reporter that there have been 48 coaches at other Big 12 schools since he was first hired at Kansas State in 1989, Snyder chuckled. "There's a variety of different reasons. Sometimes people move on," Snyder said. "The age factor, I can't negotiate that. ... I'm as old as time, and that's not going to change." Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads hired former Kansas coach and Oklahoma offensive coordinator Mark Mangino. Rhoads said Mangino has a proven record as a play caller and brings a tough mentality. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said he has never been more excited about going into a season than he is about the Mountaineers' third in the Big 12. They were coming off an Orange Bowl victory before getting to the Big 12 and going 6-12 in conference games the last two years. "I think our players in our locker room understand what the Big 12 is all about," Holgorsen said. "They understand how challenging it is."
The previous relationship between Green-Beckham and Stoops and OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell helped lead to the wide receiver winding up in Norman.
OU football: Bob Stoops hopeful that Dorial Green-Beckham can play this season
By Ryan Aber | Jul 22, 2014DALLAS — Oklahoma remains hopeful that Dorial Green-Beckham will be able to play for the Sooners this year, OU football coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days at the Omni. Stoops addressed the media for the first time since Green-Beckham, who was dismissed from Missouri after last season, was added to OU’s roster. Stoops said Green-Beckham’s appeal was pending with the NCAA. The previous relationship between Green-Beckham and Stoops and OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell helped lead to the wide receiver winding up in Norman. After discussions with several people at Missouri, Stoops and his staff decided to pursue Green-Beckham. “We felt the person that he is, the potential he has, we felt the opportunity to give him a second chance at our place could serve him well,” Stoops said. Green-Beckham might have been the best player on a Missouri team that won the SEC East last season. In two years with the Tigers, Green-Beckham had 87 catches for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns. Green-Beckham was the top recruit in the 2012 class after setting a national high school record with 6,353 career receiving yards at Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest. He was booted from the Tigers following accusations of breaking into an apartment and pushing a woman down stairs. He was never charge in that incident. Green-Beckham was twice arrested for marijuana-related offenses while at Missouri. If Green-Beckham is ruled eligible, a seemingly unlikely scenario given his past transgressions and allegations against him, he would give the Sooners offense a big boost. OU returns just one receiver — Sterling Shepard — with any significant college experience.
Jul 22, 2014
DALLAS — Oklahoma remains hopeful that Dorial Green-Beckham will be able to play for the Sooners this year, OU coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days at the Omni. Stoops addressed the media for the first time since Green-Beckham, who was dismissed from Missouri after last season, was added to OU’s roster. Stoops said Green-Beckham’s appeal was pending with the NCAA. The prior...
OU football: Bob Stoops hopeful Dorial Green-Beckham will be able to play for Sooners in 2014
ryan aber | Jul 22, 2014DALLAS — Oklahoma remains hopeful that Dorial Green-Beckham will be able to play for the Sooners this year, OU coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days at the Omni. Stoops addressed the media for the first time since Green-Beckham, who was dismissed from Missouri after last season, was added to OU’s roster. Stoops said Green-Beckham’s appeal was pending with the NCAA. The prior relationship between Green-Beckham and Stoops and OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell helped lead to the wide receiver winding up in Norman. After discussions with several people at Missouri, Stoops and his staff decided to pursue Green-Beckham. “We felt the person that he is, the potential he has, we felt the opportunity to give him a second chance at our place could serve him well,” Stoops said. Green-Beckham was one of if not the best player on the Missouri team that won the SEC East last season. In two years with the Tigers, Green-Beckham had 87 catches for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns. Green-Beckham was the top recruit in the 2012 class after setting a national high school record with 6,353 career receiving yards at Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest. He was booted from the Tigers following his dismissal following accusations of breaking into an apartment and pushing a woman down stairs. He was never charge in that incident. Green-Beckham was twice arrested for marijuana-related offenses while at Missouri. If Green-Beckham is ruled eligible, a seemingly unlikely scenario given his past transgressions and allegations against him, he would give the Sooners offense a big boost. OU returns just one receiver—Sterling Shepard—with any significant college experience.
Jul 17, 2014
On Aug. 31, Phillips will trot onto another field. It will be hot. It could be raining. But it won’t be in Jay and it won’t be little leaguers. Phillips will make his Big 12 officiating debut with the nationally televised Baylor-SMU game, which inaugurates McLane Stadium hard by the Brazos River.
From little league to the Big 12, Jerod Phillips has come a long way in officiating
By Berry Tramel | Jul 17, 2014IRVING, Texas — The first football game Jerod Phillips ever officiated was a little league showdown in Jay, his hometown in Oklahoma’s Delaware County, near the Arkansas state line. It was hot. Maybe 100 degrees. And pouring rain. “You couldn’t even see across the field,” Phillips said. That was 21 years ago. Phillips was a college freshman just trying to make some extra money. On Aug. 31, Phillips will trot onto another field. It will be hot. It could be raining. But it won’t be in Jay and it won’t be little leaguers. Phillips will make his Big 12 officiating debut with the nationally televised Baylor-SMU game, which inaugurates McLane Stadium hard by the Brazos River. “That’s going to be a surreal moment for me,” Phillips said. “That’s going to be a big day. I’m humbled for that opportunity.” More from Tramel Big 12 Officiating: Eight-man crews are here to stay Test your football knowledge with the Big 12 officiating testTargeting rule worked in Big 12 Conference last year And Phillips, a line judge, will be thinking about the drenched and muggy field in Jay. “That’s where we started... me and my dad,” Phillips said. “I always like to think when I go into these stadiums, ‘It’s a long way from Jay, Oklahoma, little league.’” Not too long ago, Phillips was calling high school games. Then junior college. That’s where the Big 12’s officiating scouts spied him. They directed Phillips into the Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, moved him into the Southland and Mountain West conferences, and finally elevated Phillips to the Big 12. Quite a jump in six years. Phillips’ rapid ascension opens a window into how officials get to the highest levels of football. “We noticed it right off that he had a lot of potential,” said Walt Anderson, the Big 12’s director of officiating. “Kind of put him on our radar.” What exactly did the Big 12 notice? A physically fit official who was always where he was supposed to be and displayed a willingness to get better. “The first thing is, because it’s just so important to us in terms of the fitness, a guy in shape will catch your visible eye,” Anderson said. “Looks like he belongs on the football field as opposed to belonging in the bar. “We watch how they work. We watch what they’re looking at. Even at a lower level, there are certain basic fundamentals. We want them learning good mechanics. Just like a coach would tell you, if I can coach guys that I know are going to be coming into my program to do certain things early on, I don’t have to spend time teaching them later. “There are certain fundaments we look for in officials; it catches our eye, because it’s like I don’t have to retrain this guy. I don’t have to spend time at this level, he’s already at this level. I can take him at that point and move him forward. We noticed that with Jerod.” Phillips, 39, is a seventh-grade geography teacher and coach in Grove, just north of Jay. He got into officiating through his father, Buddy, who spent 20 years calling Oklahoma high school games. Jerod Phillips worked high school games himself for many years. “I’m proud for him,” Buddy Phillips said. “He’s really worked hard. I don’t mean this in a mean way. A lot of the ol’ boys, especially in high school, they’re just kind of looking for a paycheck and they don’t really get into the rules and the mechanics, try to better themselves, but Jerod never was that way. Way we look at it, go into a job, try to do it the best you can. That’s been his approach.” Phillips has dedicated himself to attending clinics and incorporating what he’s learned. That’s what Anderson has seen since Phillips came aboard CFO West, the Big 12’s umbrella officials organization, in 2009. “Once I started interacting with him when he was part of the Southland and he’s getting feedback directly on games ...then I see how he reacts the next week,” Anderson said. “He would take everything that we would do and he would do immediate improvement. Some people, you have to beat ‘em over the head with stuff and it never sinks in. He’s not only coachable, he’s responsible, in that he responds to what you’re coaching him. You see that effect right away. “When you find people that perform and are coachable, they have a tendency to rise above the crowd rather quickly. And that’s exactly what he did.” Buddy Phillips watched his son’s first game calling on the Division II level, at Pittsburg State, and figured his son was headed for advancement. “I told the wife after the first game or two, he’s got such a demeanor and calm under stress,” Buddy Phillips said. “He’s got a knack for it. He’ll do good. Whenever I first started working with him, I knew he had a feel for it. “I know he’s worked hard. He’s studied hard. When he first applied, they said, ‘Man, you gotta lose some weight.’ Well, I think he lost 40 pounds. He got to watching his diet and lost 40 pounds.” Jerod Phillips is an example of the Big 12’s commitment to officiating. This is serious business, from the conference office to the guys on the field. They know their craft the same way coaches know theirs. Big 12 officials are committed to excellence, and if that commitment slides, Anderson stands ready to ride herd. “We’ve got a system here... the mechanics, the philosophies they’re teaching, the viewpoint of the game to make it the best it can possibly be,” Phillips said. “That’s their goal. If you put your focus and concentrate on what they want you to do, the opportunities to move ahead are there.” And so next month in Waco, a glistening new stadium opens along with a glistening new chapter in a career. Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Jul 15, 2014
Oklahoma doesn’t have any wide receivers committed for its 2015 class, but Jay Norvell’s success on the recruiting trail the last three years has filled the position group with young talent, meaning it’s not an immediate need. Despite that, the Sooners are actively pursuing Texas receivers John Humphrey and Ryan Newsome.
Oklahoma football: Sooners' wide receiver group is full of young talent
By Jason Kersey | Jul 15, 2014NORMAN — Oklahoma currently has no wide receivers committed for its recruiting class of 2015, which seems strange considering the Sooners’ recent success in scoring early wideout commitments. In each of the past three recruiting classes, the Sooners had at least two receivers committed by this point. Last year, Dallis Todd and Jeffery Mead committed in April and June, respectively. Jay Norvell’s success on the recruiting trail the last three years has filled the position group with young talent, meaning it’s not an immediate need with this year’s class. Oklahoma offered 27 scholarships to wide receivers in the 2013 recruiting class, and offered 16 receivers the next year. So far in the 2015 class, the Sooners have only extended offers to 12 wideouts. The fact that Oklahoma isn’t offering as many wideouts this year, though, doesn’t mean Bob Stoops’ staff isn’t actively pursuing some — especially a pair of receivers from Texas. “Coach Stoops is really taking time out of his day to recruit me, and he’s actually one of the coaches spearheading my recruiting,” said Ryan Newsome, a 5-foot-9 slot receiver from Aledo, Texas. “He talks to me frequently, and he makes sure I’m aware that I’m on their mind 24/7 and that I’m a top target for Oklahoma.” Newsome and three-star prospect John Humphrey — a former Baylor commitment from Clear Falls High in League City, Texas — appear to be Norvell’s top two receiver targets for 2015. Humphrey (6-foot, 160 pounds) originally committed to Baylor in April, but decommitted last month. The Bears wanted him to play defensive back, but he said he prefers offense. “I can play DB, but that’s not where my heart was,” Humphrey said. “I have a passion for playing offense. I love making plays, scoring touchdowns.” Humphrey said he plans to commit before his senior season begins, while Newsome appears content to let the process play out over the next several months. He’s scheduled official visits to his top five schools — Notre Dame (Sept. 5), UCLA (Oct. 10), Texas (Oct. 17), Oregon (Oct. 31) and Oklahoma (Nov. 7). Newsome said Oklahoma’s success in developing slot receivers such as Ryan Broyles, Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard is what makes the Sooners attractive to him. Shepard’s role with the Sooners is expected to increase in 2014. The junior made significant contributions as a freshman and sophomore, but entering this season, he’s expected to be the only eligible receiver with much major college football experience. Oklahoma’s receiver landscape for the 2014 season could shift dramatically if Missouri transfer Dorial Green-Beckham gains immediate eligibility. The former five-star recruit is appealing for an NCAA waiver, but his chances for success aren’t good. Despite the apparent lack of experience at receiver this season, though, Oklahoma’s future there appears to be bright because of Norvell’s recruiting efforts the past few years. The Sooners nabbed four high-school receivers in each of their past two recruiting classes, and signed three in 2012. Junior Durron Neal; sophomores Derrick Woods and Austin Bennett; redshirt freshmen Jordan Smallwood and K.J. Young; and true freshmen Mark Andrews, Michiah Quick and Todd will all have opportunities to contribute this season. “It’s never the same in college football,” Norvell said during spring practice. “You always have to coach new players, and it’s fun to coach new players. I think that’s the exciting thing about college football is there are very few incumbents, or guys who come back and have themselves established. It’s fun to see kids grow and mature.”