Sooners stocked with tight ends

The Sooners worked out in muggy conditions on Tuesday morning and once again Bob Stoops was very happy with how practice went.

The coaches stressed fundamentals and were very demonstrative in their approach. OU will once again practice tonight and then scrimmage on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

OU has an excellent group of tight ends. Trent Smith is bigger, stronger and has maintained his speed. Smith is due to have a breakout year for the Sooners this season. Smith has also held off the charge of sophomore Lance Donley for the starting job. Donley is having an excellent camp as well, but he has not been able to unseat Smith. Smith and Donley will alternate this season and provide a great one-two punch. The Sooners also have some outstanding potential for the future.

James Moses will not participate in games as he serves as the partial qualifier, but he has served notice that he could be an outstanding player, by making several spectacular catches. Chris Chester has been very steady and has shown good speed. There is a chance Chester could also redshirt this year, because converted wide receiver Ryan Daniel has proven he can handle the position as a receiver.

I continue to be amazed how good Andre Woolfolk is and the fact that he still has some upside that he will show us in the future. Woolfolk worked totally at cornerback for the second straight day and was spectacular at times. He has a natural ability to close on the ball, knock it way or intercept it. I am told his kind of ability is just something you are born with. Then he turns right around the next practice and is the Sooners best wide receiver.

That is amazing when you think about it. Right now Woolfolk is penciled as the starting cornerback opposite Derrick Strait, but he will still see around 30 plays on offense. Antonio Perkins will alternate with Woolfolk and his upside is outstanding as well. There is no doubt in my mind Woolfolk has a chance to be All-Conference player and possibly more.

Junior defensive endMarcus Chretien had another good day in pass rush drills. Chretien has proven that he can be a factor this year. Cory Heinecke and Dan Cody will start at defensive end, but Chretien will get a number of snaps and forms a solid back-up role with true freshman Jonathan Jackson.

Tommie Harris was once again dominant in pass rush drills, but equally dominant on the other side of the ball were Howard Duncan and Frank Romero. Both senior offensive linemen blocked very well at the line of scrimmage and they weren't beaten on the day. The defensive line did get the best of the o-line during team pass rush drills, but Coach Mark Mangino was throwing in several players trying to see several different player combinations. However, Mangino still looked pretty frustrated at times with his offensive line.

I don't want to leave out how outstanding Derrick Strait is at corner for the Sooners. He was an outstanding player last year as a freshman, but looks better this year in camp. His confidence level has gone up considerably.

Defensive tackle Juan Prishker is still out with a lower back and leg problem, but looks closer to returning. Junior center Josh Smith had the pads on today, but worked on the side. Smith is hoping he can participate in the scrimmage tomorrow. Dusty Dvorazcek missed some of the practice because of heat related problems.

In passing drills sophomore quarterback Jason White was outstanding throwing the long ball, hitting two passes that would have resulted in big yardage or a touchdown. Junior Nate Hybl missed on the long ball, but was better in the short, controlled game. To me it seems that Hybl is better at executing the short game, while White has more potential for the big play, but is the more dangerous of the two in terms of making a mistake.

Wednesday's scrimmage will be interesting to watch as the race is still very close.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories