PRACTICE REPORT: Sooners tune up for scrimmage

A recap of Friday's practice and comments from Bob Stoops on the importance of Saturday's scrimmage

NORMAN, Okla. – The Oklahoma Sooners worked out this afternoon under sunny skies and almost perfect temperatures before nearly 500 high school coaches in Norman at the invitation of Sooner coaches on campus for the fifth annual Bob Stoops Coaches Clinic.

It was - by far, the most structured practice session of the spring. Primarily due to the fact that 500 extra coaches were observing, but also because Coach Bob Stoops expressed his opinion that the time for individual players to perform and step forward was today and during tomorrow's' scrimmage session.

The team worked on down and distance situations and also provided opportunities for the offensive and defensive linemen to go head to head. One of the most heated contests of the day was between Dan Cody and Wes Sims. Each player had their moments, and both showed why they might be among the nations' best this fall.

Also showing well was defensive end Larry Birdine, the redshirt freshman who is making a push for major playing time with a string of solid performances. Vince Carter and Chris Bush both worked at the center position and it's clear that the coaches want more depth and competition at the spot.

The run game received more attention than usual with senior Renaldo Works and sophomore Kejuan Jones receiving equal billing. Also, in terms of raw talent, Donta Hickson is showing moves and is making a push that will be hard to ignore.

The top receivers are beginning to step to the front and solidify, with the top group consisting of juniors Mark Clayton and Brandon Jones and sophomore Travis Wilson. In the defensive backfield Mark Bradley continues to show star potential and today received a lot of individual attention from Bob Stoops.

The quarterbacks were average today, with Jason White and Paul Thompson having a slightly better day over Brent Rawls and Noah Allen. Thompson probably handles the option plays better than the others and today White showed more consistency in his passing, and probably added some zip and a sense of urgency to the practice, showing needed leadership to his squad members.

After practice Bob Stoops talked with OU Insider's James Hale.

"Today's' practice was really good. We executed and got done all that we needed to do in order to prepare ourselves for tomorrow's' scrimmage. We worked on the techniques and assignments that will be needed tomorrow as it will be a major scrimmage, beginning a little after ten and going for about two hours."

"I told the players that tomorrow is for real," Stoops continued. "On the line will be playing time and in some cases individual positions. I am anxious to see how they will respond. However I do expect the defense to tackle and at the same time I also expect the offense to move the ball on our defense - which is no small task."

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