The energy within the program at Oklahoma hasn't been this high in a while, and the Sooners will conclude spring practice Saturday with the annual Red-White game.
With a lot of top visitors coming to town, it should make for a very lively atmosphere in Norman. Here are five things to be watching this weekend.
No. 1: Knight's command of the team
All throughout spring players have talked about how much confidence sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight has shown in the last month. Knight has accepted the responsibility of being the face of the program right now when it comes to media duties and things of that nature. Last year he was fighting for an opportunity. This year we know it's Knight's job. The spring game will be another opportunity for him to show why his teammates and coaches believe in him so much.
No. 2: Who will step up at wide receiver?
The wide receiver depth was already thin heading into the spring, but the game itself has been depleted even more with injuries keeping Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal from participating. It does lead, however, to huge opportunities for the other receivers. All receivers coach Jay Norvell has preached this spring is about consistency. Between Austin Bennett, Derrick Woods, Jordan Smallwood, Dannon Cavil and K.J. Young – somebody or a couple must emerge to be a dependable target.
No. 3: Position changes in action
Two major position changes for the spring have seen Geneo Grissom move from defensive end to outside linebacker and Eric Striker from outside linebacker to more of a nickelback spot. Striker's move came because of an injury to Julian Wilson. It remains to be seen whether each move is actually permanent or not, but each player has talked about how comfortable they feel in their new home. Striker can still rush the quarterback, while Grissom can use his strength and speed more off the edge.
No. 4: The cornerback showdown
Like wide receiver, it has been a three-way battle at cornerback. Sophomore Zack Sanchez has one side of the field locked up, but who is going to join him among Cortez Johnson and sophomores Dakota Austin and Stanvon Taylor? Entering the game, it feels like Austin has the slight lead, followed by Taylor and then Johnson. Austin admitted he believes it's his job to win, but he also said he has to stay humble and hungry and not get overconfident. Spring game could be a showcase for any or all of the three.
No. 5: Ross, Ford battling it out
The offensive line is ravaged with injuries so not too sure how it will play out, but another spirited battle throughout spring has been at running back. In one corner, sophomore Alex Ross. And in the other, sophomore Keith Ford. Ross has looked sensational in scrimmages and is making this an even more difficult decision than what it first appeared to be. Ford hasn't done anything wrong or slipped up. Right now it's just two guys both winning the battle instead of seeing somebody drop off.