OU open practice notes

OU students and media were given a rare glimpse into OU practice as the final 45 minutes were open for a student appreciation day.

It was student appreciation day at Oklahoma spring practice as OU coach Bob Stoops opened up the final 45 minutes of the practice for all students and media to watch.

Despite a number of key players not taking part because of injury, there were still a lot of things that caught the eye of Sooners Illustrated.

* The first play was an interception thrown by Trevor Knight as sophomore cornerback Dakota Austin made a nice play on the ball. Austin has been one of the stories for the spring for the Sooners, and it was easy to see how comfortable he was at corner during the short scrimmage.

* The offense did get back on track and part of that was because of sophomore wide receiver Derrick Woods, who made a terrific grab in the end zone for the first touchdown of the scrimmage.

* When talking defense, it's still all about junior Eric Striker. Despite being moved around, he is doing what he does best in terms of rushing the quarterback. The quarterbacks were obviously wearing blue jerseys and couldn't be hit, but Striker was in on them a number of times.

* Got the first opportunity to see backup quarterbacks Justice Hansen, Cody Thomas and Baker Mayfield. Hansen threw a nice deep ball to Austin Bennett and culminated his drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Taylor McNamara.

* Thomas threw a nice ball to K.J. Young as it was a pretty stellar scrimmage for Young. The only thing noticeable with Young is how much smaller he is compared to other receivers like Woods and Jordan Smallwood. Not necessarily in height but in terms of his physical presence.

* Mayfield, who will get a chance to play Saturday in the spring game, seems the most comfortable playing outside the pocket. When he's on the move, he looked good.

* Cornerback Zack Sanchez made a couple of really nice plays and breaks on the ball as he continues to grow into a leader of the defense.

* Notable starters not practicing included defensive end Charles Tapper and linebacker Frank Shannon. Both are expected to play Saturday.

* The student turnout wasn't what might have been expected, but students were quick to point out to media members the open practice wasn't advertised except what they saw on Twitter.

* Best collision of the day was between Hatari Byrd and Aaron Ripkowski as the two went head-to-head in the middle of the field.

* The OU spring game is 2 p.m. CST Saturday.

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