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What we know about OU after two-a-days

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, Published: August 20, 2011

Two-a-days ended on Friday. Classes begin Monday. Five things we learned about the Sooners following 19 two-a-day practices:

1. The Sooners embrace the No. 1 ranking

Coach Bob Stoops didn't shy away from high expectations when he announced at the Sooner caravan stop in Oklahoma City “it's about time we won one,” referring to OU capturing its first national title since 2000.

Most players say the preseason No. 1 ranking doesn't mean a thing. To make a run at the BCS title game, players say it's paramount they work hard, with a one-game-at-a-time mindset. The Sooners haven't been overwhelmed by the preseason hype.

2. Corey Nelson will play weakside linebacker

Coaches vowed to get the talented sophomore on the field after he had as good a spring as anyone on the roster. They experimented with Nelson playing strongside linebacker/nickelback, moving Tony Jefferson to free safety.

When veteran Travis Lewis suffered a broken toe early in fall camp, Nelson was moved back to weakside linebacker, the position he played last season. Nelson is so talented he might move to a new position when Lewis returns. While Lewis is out, Nelson will play the position he's most familiar with.

3. OU will go with a running back by committee

We don't know which running back will receive the most carries, but two or three backs, maybe four, will be part of a rotation. Without seeing practice, it's impossible to predict who will start the season opener, but it appears sophomore Brennan Clay, listed No. 1 on the depth chart, will get the nod Sept. 3 against Tulsa.

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