Originally Published: Mar 21, 2011 9:58 PM CDT
Bob Stoops was rolling along answering queries from us media types attending an easy-come easy-go newser to launch spring practice.Then, a benign-enough question hit and all of a sudden we had the most emotion and best quote of the day.
Battle at RB? No. Filling secondary holes? No. Kicker? Surely that would bring some emotion. But no. None of the above.
Topic of the day? Easy. The social networking and microblogging service known as Twitter.
When asked if he has a Facebook or Twitter policy in place with the team, Stoops immediately replied, "No, but I'm going to have one." "Guys that obviously don't know what they're doing need to have it taken away," said Stoops. "It's hard to believe that they don't get it, they still think they're at east handkerchief high school where no one cares and that's not the case."
I "follow" some pro and college athletes on Twitter,including a few from OU. Gotta say I am glad the coach is stepping in. OU insiders told me a couple of months ago when I asked about how they handled inappropriate tweets that it's a major problem and that OU has people who monitor it closely. I have seen several things that were offensive and a lot of bad grammar and misspelled words. Granted, some of it is intentional, such as BTW,LOL, etc. But clearly, a lot of this tweeting does not reflect well on the team or the program. Now we know the coach agrees.
New Best Sooner Sound Bite: Brennan Clay, RB, sophomore-to-be,San Diego, CA, 5-star recruit, HS academic standout. Quick Q-and-A with Clay found him to be personable, pleasant, bright, articulate, and best of all he meant what he said and said what he meant.
Clay wasn't the only one who told reporters the clear mission is to win the national championship. Neither Clay, nor any of the half dozen or so players we interviewed after today's first spring workout were haughty in how they referred to a title run. Most championship teams I've bee non or covered, were focused on the prize, but were able to execute in the present.
Clay said he and the players are happy to finish winter conditioning and that a championship was on everyone's minds. He also said, "OUTitle Run '11" was being tweeted around by the players. Stoops would have no problem with that. However, unless they can set up a winner-take-all game with2011 National Champion Auburn for last seasons' BCS title, the Sooner tweeters need an adjustment. Brennan and his mates should update those tweets to read, "OUTitle Run '12."
My first hunch after watching five minutes of OU's first spring practice was that OU will probably want to recruit QBs hard. Blake Bell needs to improve his throwing mechanics and accuracy; Kendall Thompson might be dangerous duel-threat QB but is athletic enough that if he can't fit into what they'd like to do in the pass game, he should be able to find a way to get on the field. Drew Allen is an underrated senior. Thankfully for OU, LandryJones is a terrific QB but as a junior probably won't be a high enough draft pick to leave school a year early. And remember, as long as you have solid/straightforward coaches, you can never ever have too many good QBs.
Stoops likes most all his talent, but I get the feeling he really likes TE Trey Millard (MILL-urd), Safety Aaron Colvin, new RB BrandonWilliams and DL Daniel Noble.
-Look for Millard to get more playing time not always atFB. Look for Williams to draw comparisons with Adrian Peterson (no, he's notA.D., but like Peterson, he's impressed teammates in the few weeks he's been on campus with his toughness and passion, he can run over defenders but has the moves and speed to accelerate in space. Williams' OU No. is 23, but he's even worn A.D.s No. 28 some as well. I expect him to find playing time maybe a lot.But Cale Gundy is deep with runners and whoever gets totes will have earned them.
By the way, on the way to the Stoops presser, I noticed an old college hangout had been torn down--O'Connell's Irish Pub. Spent more time there than the library. Wasn't close. It was home away from home for many a player. And many a debutante.
BTW: Love to have you follow me on Twitter:@deanblevins