New day for TEs at OU

Tight ends were the story of OU's offense during the spring game.

NORMAN, Okla. – The pass reception was to Dimitri Flowers. The first touchdown reception was by Taylor McNamara.

It's only the spring game, but it's obvious the tight end is going to be a part of the offense moving forward for the Oklahoma Sooners.

Flowers, McNamara and Isaac Ijalana all played a role as OU concluded its spring workouts in White's 28-13 win against Red in front of an OU record 43,500 fans Saturday afternoon.

"Being older and maturing, I've been more confident," McNamara said. "It's really the culmination of everything."

McNamara caught three passes for 16 yards with two touchdowns. Both of those occurred in the red zone where OU has not had a consistent tight end presence the last couple of seasons.

Tight end was certainly a story going into the spring, but the headlines were about Blake Bell making the move from quarterback to tight end.

Bell sprained his MCL last week and was unable to play Saturday, allowing some of the other guys a chance to showcase what they can do.

"I just think it's a testament to the way they've been working," quarterback Trevor Knight said.

It was clear toward the end of last season McNamara was positioning himself for a strong sophomore season. Nothing that happened this spring would suggest otherwise.

But arguably the biggest story was Flowers, who was at San Antonio Churchill a mere four months ago and hadn't visited the OU campus until banquet weekend in December.

Flowers was targeted by Knight on three of his first four passes and finished with a game-high four catches for 40 yards.

He also survived a scare. In the fourth quarter, Flowers was tackled low by cornerback Zack Sanchez and left the game. OU coach Bob Stoops said after the game it's just a hyperextended left knee that won't require surgery.

"As time went on, I felt better and better," Flowers said. "I feel like I've come a long way – I've kept my head down and did a lot of hard work."

Ijalana, who might have a little more work to do than the rest of the guys, had an 18-yard reception Saturday.

Entering the season, McNamara is the only tight end with a catch on the roster. That catch came on a four-yard reception in the Allstate Sugar Bowl three months ago.

Not a lot of experience for the group, but it's clear they're starting to make their own statements and will be a big part of the 2014 season and potential success for OU.

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