It really helps in acclimating the freshmen, newcomers and even some of the younger players on the squad like redshirts from last season that spent so much time on scout or demonstration teams.
The players were starting their second week on campus and had probably their third metabolics workout (that is the players-led practice) in the stadium on Monday. Obviously, Mason Rudolph is the starting quarterback and his grasp of the offense is really good as this is his second summer in Stillwater.
But having J.W. Walsh on the sidelines when he is not taking reps is truly like having a coach over there. Walsh is calling plays, making sure personnel groups get in, and has a real control over the offensive side.
The defense is not to be outdone in their organization as ultra veteran and senior linebacker Ryan Simmons combines with defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, linebacker Seth Jacobs, cornerback Kevin Peterson and safety Jordan Sterns to provide a lot of direction at each level of the defense. The new players are getting great instruction and advice.
As for some of the new players, Chris Carson took turns on the first-team offense with Rennie Childs.
Carson is easily 6-1 and looks closer to 210 pounds to me. I was impressed with his attention to detail on runs, running out the play. I was also very impressed with his speed and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
I predict a really intense and productive battle between Childs and Carson in fall camp. Those two will make each other better and the offense better as a whole.
Another newcomer that impressed is Michael Hunter, the corner from Indiana (it turns out that he and Carson are roommates). A super senior transfer, Hunter is close to 6-1 and weighs right around 200 it appears. He can really move and is very smooth and comfortable in coverage.
He will be a great addition and help with the depth at corner. Not to mention with four or five corners that are capable of contributing, I can see another special defensive package for Glenn Spencer to go with the multiple front packages like "Cheetah," "Speed," and "Walk-around." You could play four or five corners and call it "Glove."
The freshmen look solid and one that kind of stands out a little is Johnny Wilson. The offensive lineman, likely guard or center, out of Midland Christian is a stout and well put together freshman. He is more finished product than I'm used to seeing offensive linemen coming out of high school.