Leaving Spring Ball: Three Issues

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners exit spring ball much the same way they entered it: many experts' pick as the Preseason No. 1 team in the nation. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few questions or concerns emerging from this time of year.

Here are three issues coming out of the spring:

1. The status of Jamell Fleming--The status of Fleming, who is currently not enrolled at OU, will remain unknown until the fall, but OU could really use his return to a largely inexperienced secondary. In his absence, Aaron Colvin has been moved over to the strong safety position and Gabe Lynn into corner in his place. Demontre Hurst, the only returning starter from last season, is at corner on the other side, with free safety Javon Harris filling out the starting four. There's a huge amount of talent there, but Fleming hitting the field again in the fall would make this an absolutely stacked secondary, although it's already loaded with some of the players in the rotation.

2. Right tackle Jarvis Jones' has a torn right patella tendon--Jones figures to be out until at least two or three games into the 2011 season, likely forcing Josh Aladenoye into the starting spot there on the offensive line. It's a huge blow because of his experience. It's almost inevitable that one or two players will suffer an injury in spring ball, but not always to the extent of this. The Sooners need to hope for a healthy rehab after his recent surgery so they can maximize their potential on the offensive line. After all, head coach Bob Stoops said off the record that this group has made tremendous leaps and bounds from the conclusion of the 2010 season. Jones' return would fulfill that improvement.

3. Health of a few wide receivers--The Sooners had a handful of guys nicked up in the receiving corps at the end of spring ball. Justin McCay suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) that fortunately will not require any type of surgery. Sheldon McClain has a broken collarbone, and Kenny Stills, although he managed three catches for 23 yards in the Spring Game, has been battling a hamstring injury. With star slot receiver Ryan Broyles and Stills leading the way, the Sooners have a chance to be ridiculously good at this position, but injuries can't get in the way.

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