NORMAN — Nearly a dozen first-year players carved out key roles last season for the Oklahoma football team. Some even became starters.
This year, though, there are much fewer openings on Oklahoma's depth chart.
This morning the Sooners will conduct the first of 19 scheduled practices before school starts.
With so many positions filled by returning starters, what new faces might play key roles?
Coach Bob Stoops mentioned three — sophomore safety Aaron Colvin, redshirt freshman defensive end Geneo Grissom and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Darryl Williams.
“I liked the way those guys worked out in the winter and played in the spring,” Stoops said. “They showed signs they can help us... We'll see how they progress. I'm sure I'm missing someone. There will be other guys.”
A backup cornerback who started one game as a true freshman, Colvin was moved to strong safety last spring. Coaches and teammates said the Owasso product made the transition seamlessly.
"He's an athlete who has tremendous instincts," said linebacker Travis Lewis. "His greatest asset is finding the ball.
“There are two types of players. Players that do their job and players that do their job, plus somebody else's (job). He's one of those players who will do somebody else's job even though he doesn't have to."
Lewis compared Colvin's pursuit skills to Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu.