There’s not too much you can learn from one half day session with Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and a handful of players, but there were some things that absolutely stood out at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas on Tuesday.
Alabama talk won’t go away
For better or worse, the talk of OU’s performance against Alabama has not evaporated. And when things like Alabama coach Nick Saban saying it was like getting ready for a consolation game, more fuel is added to that fire.
But Stoops isn’t listening to any of that.
“I don’t pay attention,” he said. “We’ve played for quite a few national championships. When we don’t play for one, it never seems to be the mantra but anyway you can make all the excuses you want or not.
“The bottom line is – it is what it is. And they sure looked good that first series, I’ll tell you that.”
Stoops did admit he’s not sick of fielding questions about the victory, saying there are worse questions he can be asked over and over and over.
Offensive tackle Daryl Williams, though, was of a different mindset.
“Man, yeah, I am kind of done talking about it,” Williams said. “That was last year. I mean c’mon, let’s move on and start talking this year.”
Position changes a positive
Sure enough they were and both are pretty happy about things. Though it’s clear they want to help the Sooners, the long term goal was looking at the NFL Draft and what they can do to help their stock.
Wilson was really candid saying NFL scout said they need to see more of him at cornerback. Originally a cornerback, Wilson was moved to the nickelback spot when Mike Stoops returned to Norman.
Grissom’s change was even more puzzling, at least at the time. Grissom had two sacks, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown in the Allstate Sugar Bowl but is fine with moving from defensive end to outside linebacker.
“It gives me a lot of versatility,” Grissom said. “That’s never a bad thing. I can rush the quarterback or drop back in coverage.”
Grissom’s change is definitely permanent, but we’ll have to see with Wilson and how he fares in the battle for that second cornerback starting spot. It’s a four-way logjam right now.
Knight a believer in Green-Beckham
Knight committed to OU in July 2011, giving him a good six months to try to put on his recruiting hat and lure DGB to the Sooners. But Knight said he never really got to know the five-star prospect that much when they were in high school.
This summer, though, has been an incredibly different story.
“I’ve been able to get to know him a lot more in these last few weeks,” Knight said. “To me, it just feels like he’s a genuine person who wants to make the most of his second chance. I feel he’s a great guy from the time I’ve spent with him.”
That second chance attitude materialized all over the place with OU players when talking DGB, but Stoops said it best.
“In the end, I am not one to easily give up on young people,” Stoops said.
Williams has made the leap
Ask any media member where Daryl Williams would have ranked last year in terms of favorite interviews, he wouldn’t have cracked the top 15 at OU.
What a difference a few months have made. Williams has become the leader and anchor of OU’s offensive line on the field and the mouthpiece of the group off the field.
“Daryl is one of the best leaders I’ve seen in my 16 years,” Stoops said. “I don’t know if you want to say the light bulb has come on or he’s realized he’s a senior and doesn’t have much time left. I don’t know, but he has become a great leader.”
Williams said there wasn’t one moment or anything of that nature. Instead, it was after his redshirt year that he realized things had to change.
“I knew I couldn’t just keep doing what I was doing,” Williams said. “This year I know I have to be that guy. I have to set that example.”