Oklahoma holds open practice

Media, fans watch as Sooners make final camp preparations

A handful of the Oklahoma players were made available to the media after Thursday’s practice, which finished inside Memorial Stadium with a couple hundred students in attendance.

There was a general notion that it was finally the start of the regular season.

If that’s the case, the season started with a loud thwack – the kind that came from safety Hatari Byrd’s pads when he hit running back David Smith running a pass pattern.

Quarterbacks Trevor Knight and Justice Hansen led two separate groups through 7-on-7 and then full-team drills.

“It’s football time again,” Knight said.

Linebacker Frank Shannon watched from the sideline in pads, and quarterback Baker Mayfield took up a spot behind the play with the rest of the quarterbacks.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard and cornerback Zack Sanchez sat out the practice as precautions.

Linebacker Devante Bond was the only player who wasn’t in full pads.

Dorial Green-Beckham worked with the second unit, led by Hansen, and Oklahoma freshman Joe Mixon even came to the practice – walking down to the field after it had been vacated.

The practice was capped with coach Bob Stoops and Oklahoma president David Boren participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

“It was awful hot, so it did feel real good,” Stoops said.

Tight ends Blake Bell and Taylor McNamara both worked with what appeared to be the first unit in 7-on-7 and full-team drills.

Knight connected with Durron Neal on multiple occasions and spent time in the backfield with all three running backs considered at the top of the depth chart – Samaje Perine, Alex Ross and Keith Ford.

“All the running backs want to get more carries, honestly, just playing time and wanting to see the field, do what they can do and show the world what they can do,” Ford said. “Everybody has the same mentality. We’re all good. We’re all five stars. We were all big recruits. We can all play.”

Jordan Smallwood and K.J. Young also worked with the first team with Shepard on the sideline.

The defense probably made the biggest statement, with Byrd’s hit, a pair of interceptions and forced drops. Multiple plays were called short because of a stout quarterback rush, and the secondary was surprisingly tight.

General notes…

--Stoops said this is the healthiest camp Oklahoma has ever had.

--Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips said he was pain free and feels like he can play at a high level. “It took a real long time. It too took long to be honest. I’m ready to get back out there.”

--Ford said he was ready to be the team’s No. 1 running back but that he and Ross are still competing every day.

--Blake Bell, who intends to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Thursday night, said camp went about as he expected after a blocking wake-up call from Charles Tapper, his first one-on-one matchup during camp.

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