Whitfield Visit Sparks Conflicting Statements

NORMAN, Okla. — While the rest of the team was on the beach, back home with their families or maybe even still on campus during spring break, quarterback Landry Jones was elsewhere refining his game.

Jones took a trip to the West Coast to work with quarterback tutor George Whitfield out in Palo Alto, Calif.

Yes, the same George Whitfield who worked out former No. 1 NFL Draft pick Cam Newton and the same Whitfield who's been working with former Stanford quarterback and likely No. 1 NFL Draft pick Andrew Luck.

In fact, the two actually got a chance to visit some, although Jones said their workouts were at different times.

This trip interestingly has turned up with conflicting stories upon his return.

Sooner head coach Bob Stoops insists he knew nothing about the trip beforehand.

"No, didn't know he did it," Stoops said earlier in the week when asked about it.

Jones insists otherwise.

"Yeah, they were great, they were all good with it," Jones said. "I mean, I don't think their pride was hurt at all. I don't think their pride should be hurt. I mean, you got Sam [Bradford], Jason [White] and Coach Hype [Heupel], so this place kinda breeds quarterbacks. I think they're just excited for me to go out over spring break and get some extra work in."

Fact of the matter is Stoops, along with the rest of the coaching staff, is glad he took spring break and turned it into practice on the field.

They're satisfied that he put the extra work in while most other teammates were probably simply enjoying their time away.

"Sure, why not? I think it's always good to get different [opinions], you know, any little pointers from anybody you can," Stoops said. "You can assess it all you want, how much you use of it. If you think I'm at all sensitive about our quarterback lineage here and how they've been schooled, I think you're mistaken.

"I think ours is maybe as good as there is in the country, so I'm not real insecure about what we've been doing."

But it certainly begs the question, ‘Why did the Sooner head man not just admit he knew about the trip?'

Is he concerned about how it looks when recruiting kids?

Or was he just playing a game with the media or did Jones not really ask permission until he was actually on his way but prior to arriving there and saw that as telling him beforehand?

That's definitely an interesting dilemma.

Regardless, knowledge gained can be knowledge used, no matter where the source, Stoops adamantly said.

"Well again, why not? I mean, heck there's--I go to pro camps all the time," Stoops said. "I go to watch other teams practice once in awhile, college ball and you never know, you pick up one or two little extra things that help, why not? You know, you share it with someone else. You share it with Coach Heupel. You share it. I share whatever I see at some other practices.

"Sometimes you implement it. Other times, you don't. Other times you get there and [say], ‘Geez, I've been doing all these things as it is.' So, it never hurts to always be seeking information."

And Jones gets that concept.

Perhaps it's one of the reasons he's an elite quarterback in the country, outside of just his pure talent.

As for what he learned on the trip, it mostly dealt with throwing mechanics.

"I think it was more of my setup, the thing that I took away, just as far as holding my ball a little higher and getting it in a more comfortable place for me," Jones said.

He's hungry to improve on that and more, too, as the Sooners near the end of spring ball.

"Yeah, I think there's obviously things I still need to work on," Jones said. "Right now I think it's just kind of polishing up and polishing off little things."

Jones has plenty of time to do that before OU's first game Sept. 1 in El Paso, Texas, against the UTEP Miners.

For now, it's about finishing out the last eight days of spring strong.

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