Diary of Bedlam Week: Wednesday

Let's cut to the quick, Justin Blackmon and his celebrated ankle were moving around and catching passes on the side at Wednesday's practice. Blackmon has suited up for practice the last two days in his practice jersey with his lower leg immobilized. He is soaking up the game plan and can be more than prepared with a couple of days of practice (Thursday and Friday).

Practice started early at 2 p.m. so the work could be held on the grass practice fields east of Gallagher-Iba Arena. During the practice Cowboys play-by-play voice Dave Hunziker walked up to head trainer Rob Hunt and said, "Off the record, how is Backmon today?"

"On the record," responded Hunt. "He is great, had a good workout this morning and he will play Saturday. He played after the injury last Saturday and I think he will be able to play at that same level or better.

"He won't be 100 percent but he will be able to play at a high level. We will get him out of that on Thursday and give him time to get range of motion and have him ready to go on Saturday. He is a very tough player."

The Cowboys had an enthusiastic practice Wednesday that went through much of the game plan on offense and defense and included a lot of special teams work.

"Wednesday is long yardage (work)," said defensive coordinator Bill Young. The defense also reviews the work from Tuesday and also looks ahead at some short yardage work too.

Offense has a full script with changes made based on what they saw and liked or disliked from the Tuesday practice and even a few wrinkles that are discovered late Tuesday night in more tape review of the OU defense.

On Wednesday morning the staff meets as a whole and then breaks up into offense and defense and individually. The itinerary for the weekend is set.

Recruiting is discussed and despite many playoff games in Texas that will keep some of the committed players like Herschel Sims of Abilene, J.W. Walsh and Jimmy Bean of Denton Guyer in Texas busy fighting for a state championship, the Cowboys are expecting a lot of recruits to attend the game Saturday night on unofficial visits. Recruiting is discussed every day with the staff.

With no classes Wednesday, many of the players came in much earlier to watch tape of OU in groups. The players also have DVDs that they can use to watch tape in their dorm rooms.

Lunch was mandatory for all players, scholarship and walk-ons, and then the pre-practice meeting routine began shortly afterward followed by practice.

A surprise visitor at the practice was offensive line commitment Michael Bowie. Bowie, originally out of Sand Springs High School where he played with current Cowboys quarterback Johnny Deaton, is now finishing up at Navarro (Texas) Junior College and will play on Dec. 5 in the junior college national championship game at Pittsburg State University against Butler County (Kan.) Community College.

Bowie looked good and was warmly received as he was in camp as a freshman before learning his paper work was not approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Following practice the players had a little free time before dinner at the training table just down from the football offices in the west end zone facility. After dinner some players opted for their rooms and some stayed around for more tape study.

The coaches worked into the night but not as late as the last two nights. The plans are primarily done and now it is the finish of the preparation and polish for Bedlam.

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