With the Oklahoma Sooners opening spring practice on Saturday, head coach Bob Stoops, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops met with the media Thursday afternoon to discuss the next month. Here are some news and notes that came out of today's press conference.
-Bob Stoops said the Sooners would not be switching out of their base four-man front on defense, but would be using a ‘50' front from time to time as well. Mike Stoops echoed that sentiment and added the Sooners would also look to shift into some 3-4 alignment as well from time to time.
-The main topic, particularly with Heupel, was the quarterback battle the Sooners will have between Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight. Stoops said they will not name a starter until the fall and will use the spring to allow the three to battle it out. Heupel said the staff will name a starter "when he's earned it."
-While all three quarterbacks have running ability, Heupel said the offense will remain a pass-first offense from a quarterback standpoint. As to any changes the offense might experience, Heupel added the offense would be a reflection of the personnel that is dependable. Don't expect any major changes in the OU offense, but the running element will most likely be an added wrinkle for the Sooners.
-Blake Bell is listed on the most updated roster as 6-foot-6, 263 pounds. Goodness.
-With new defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery coaching the entire defensive line, Bobby Jack Wright will slide over to coach cornerbacks while Mike Stoops will handle the safeties. New coach Jay Boulware will be special teams coordinator in addition to tight ends coach.
-Stoops said all players have been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse except for DJ Ward. The Sooners are hoping to hear something on him soon.
-Although it's been accepted as fact for quite some time, Stoops did confirm that quarterback Drew Allen would graduate in the spring and then be looking for a place to play in the fall.
-Defensively, Mike Stoops said there would be some rearranging in the defensive backfield, but there are plenty of players in contention. It appears the current plan is to have Gabe Lynn and Quentin Hayes at safety, with Julian Wilson at nickel back. Cortez Johnson, Zach Sanchez and Kass Everett will be fighting for the cornerback position opposite Aaron Colvin.
-As reported earlier in the day, the Sooners will travel to Baylor to take on the Bears Nov. 7. The game was originally scheduled for Nov. 9, but the Sooners were off the week before, which made this game possible. Stoops said having a Thursday night home game is not conducive for the Sooners due to having an on-campus stadium.