Rashaun Woods scheduled for MRI

OSU continued spring drills Monday night in an open practice. Following the workout, head coach Les Miles explained why All-American Rashuan Woods is headed toward the doctor's office, who is impressing the staff at the running back position, and which freshman has been taking snaps at safety.

With less than a week of spring football practices remaining, preparation for the Aug. 30 debut at Nebraska is  on the minds of Oklahoma State coaches and players.

Among those preparations is examining a Rashaun Woods nagging knee injury. Woods is going in for an MRI on Friday to examine a knee problem that has been with Woods since the past season.
The step is being taken as a precautionary measure, and Woods says he feels at about an 80 percent playing level. Woods also said the little pain has gone down week by week.

"I was held out of some practices (last season) to get ready for the game, I guess you could say," Woods said. "That really helped me get through the season, but I guess that was probably when it was when it was the worst. Now, it's getting better and better as the weeks go by.

"The main concern now is to make sure that when the first game comes around, I'm pain-free, 100 percent, doing what I can for the team."

Cowboy coach Les Miles said the measure is being taken to get the senior receiver back to perfect health.

"It's been just a little nagging deal," said Miles. It doesn't appear that it will be anything serious but we're going to confirm that with an MRI. And if we were in the season, he'd be playing games, so it's more or less to  get the knee back to perfect, and then go from there."

During spring practices, Cowboy coaches are trying players out at new positions. One of those changes is seeing how corner back Vernon Grant plays at safety.

With the OSU cornerback position solid, taking advantage of Grant's natural skills might best be suited for the safety position.
"We feel like with (Darrent) Williams, Robert Jones and Daniel McLemore at corners right now — with Ricky Coxeff coming in — that in fact that corner crew is pretty good, without Vernon," said Miles. "Vernon is easily one of the more aggressive and sharpest tacklers and an extremely tough individual, and we'd like to have him have the ability to run support.

"At that safety spot, we ask him also to cover. So, he gets to use his corner skills and he's a naturally tough run support guy."
With two highly touted junior college safeties joining OSU in the fall, moving Grant might be a temporary thing.

"This is a spring thing," said Miles. "And we really go into fall ball with the idea that we're finding the best starting crew to beat Nebraska — offense, defense, and special teams.

"But we look at two junior college safeties coming in, they may well be a pretty natural spot for Vernon's safety spot, and that would give Vernon the opportunity to go back to corner."

One of the most hotly contested positions on the Cowboy roster last season was running back. In the offseason, Tatum Bell, who won the starting job for most of the season, has been working hard in the weight room. As a result, Bell is faster in spring practices in running the ball and is turning the corner on the defense better. Vernand Morency has also shown positive signs.

Miles said the running back position is still a race between Bell, Morency and Seymore Shaw.

"To me, it's a wide-open competition," said Miles. "Vernand Morency's played well today — he's got to show some consistency. Seymore Shaw the same, and Tatum Bell can not turn the ball over, if he fumbles the ball, we'll go with another back.

"If (Bell) continues to play with consistency like he did earlier in the spring, he'll be a starter."

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