-Bob Stoops didn’t address the Joe Mixon situation on Saturday, saying he was unable to speak on any developments. Stoops also didn’t make any comments on Frank Shannon’s situation either, simply saying that nothing had changed. Shannon continues to practice with the team and was present and signing autographs at Meet the Sooners on Saturday morning. Stoops did say that sophomore defensive end Michael Onuoha will not be with the Sooners this year due to academic issues.
-Stoops said the Sooners’ defense is light years ahead of where it was a year ago, thanks to full year in the 3-4 scheme Oklahoma installed at the beginning of fall practice last season. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops agreed with his brother, saying the Sooners’ biggest concern this season is guarding against complacency and remaining hungry when everyone across the country is patting the team on the back. Mike Stoops said the strength of the unit—which he said is far and away the best unit of the three since his return—is the confidence they have at every level of the group.
-A lot of talk centered on Blake Bell’s move to tight end. Stoops said he looks like a natural at the position and said there is a good chance he starts in the season opener against Louisiana Tech. The Sooners have used tight ends in a unique way the past two years, opting to move Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski around offensive formations instead of playing natural tight ends. This year, the addition of Bell gives the Sooners plenty of tight end options, not including Ripkowski. Offensive coordinator noted the Sooners have been quick to use tight ends that can play when OU has had them on the roster.
Here are some of the players the OU coaching staff said had stood out in the first three days of practice:
-Julian Wilson at cornerback- Mike Stoops added that if Wilson starts at cornerback opposite Zach Sanchez, senior Quentin Hayes would likely fill the void at nickelback, allowing for another young player to play more at safety.
-Steven Parker at safety- Stoops said Parker was as complete a player at his age as Stoops had seen in a long time.
-Michiah Quick at wide receiver- Jay Norvell said Quick was the closest to consistent playing time of the freshman wide receivers. Bob Stoops said Durron Neal was practicing extremely well also, a good sign for an inexperienced receiving corps.
-Tyler Evans at tackle- Evans is coming off two ACL injuries the past two years and Stoops said he looks very powerful and is in good shape.
-Freshman Wesley Horky at long snapper