Young receivers standing out from the crowd

With size, skill freshmen show plenty of promise early in camp

Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell is going through a first this season.

The Sooners have had their fair share of big receivers during his six-year tenure with the team, but when he looks at freshman Jeffery Mead, he sees something he’s never seen before.

“At 6-foot-7, I have never coached anyone that tall in my life,” Norvell said.

Mead is listed in the media guide at 6-foot-5, but you have to give Norvell a break. Anyone can lose depth perception looking that far up.

While Mead’s physical stature has made him stand-out, he and the rest of the freshman class have really shined during their first few weeks on campus.

“We are still trying to push it to another level of execution,” Norvell said of the next week in camp. “This week is incredibly important for that. We have had a week of training camp where we got started and knocked some summer kinks off but this week we really have to pick up the execution.”

Mead comes in with great size and “gifted agility.” Norvell called him a great route runner and an intense study of the game. Norvell even said that he likes athletes who play multiple spots, like Mead.

“We love to see them play more sports,” Norvell said. “Kids that don’t specialize, kids that play a lot of sports, improve more in college because they are focusing on one thing. You can see them make a huge jump.”

Dallis Todd and Mark Andrews sit in the same class. Both are 6-foot-5 or taller. Both have impressed coaches and veterans thus far.

“As far as receivers, it looks very good,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said of the scrimmage this past weekend. “Michiah Quick looks really quick out there. He is moving great. Some of the big guys are looking good, Jeffery Mead and Mark Andrews, so everyone is making progress and that is what we want to do during camp.”

Ultimately, Quick is the fastest to study (I couldn’t bring myself to another quick joke). He reminded Norvell of a young Ryan Broyles, and although he isn’t 6-foot-5 – he’s just 6-foot – he is showing great potential to come in and play right away.

“He is a bigger athlete than Ryan,” Norvell said when comparing Quick to the NCAA record holder for career catches. “He is little bit stronger than Ryan too but when you tell him to go out and get open on a route he just finds a way to do it. You don’t have to tell him a whole lot.”

That’s quite a lot of praise.

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