Oklahoma is less than two weeks away from playing 17th-ranked Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29. OU coach Bob Stoops was back addressing the media for the first time since OU’s upset loss to Oklahoma State.
Take No. 1: Knight expected to start
It was revealed Saturday morning that OU quarterback Trevor Knight was cleared to practice and play again with OU. And Stoops made it crystal clear Wednesday he expects the redshirt sophomore to start in the bowl game.
“Absolutely,” he said.
Knight injured his neck and spine in the fourth quarter of OU’s loss to Baylor and hasn’t played since that game Nov. 8. OU went 2-1 with Cody Thomas as the starting quarterback, but it looks like it’s going to be Knight’s show once again.
Stoops and multiple players said Wednesday that Knight has looked solid in the first few days of practice. And more importantly for Stoops, Knight has felt fine after practice.
Take No. 2: Roster updates
Grissom is still out with a sprained MCL, while Wilson separated his shoulder earlier this week and will not be available.
There’s still no telling on the status of junior wide receiver Sterling Shepard as it’s going to be a wait-and-see process. Stoops said Shepard is feeling better, but there’s still no way to 100 percent know how he will react.
Running back Samaje Perine has not practiced since spraining his ankle, but Stoops remains confident the freshman will be ready to play against the Tigers.
Running back David Smith is still with the team, but Stoops did say Smith has permission to speak with other schools about a possible transfer. Stoops said the program supports Smith in whatever he chooses to do, and he has been a great example during his time at OU.
Take No. 3: Looking toward the future
A lot of fans have already put the 2014 season in the rearview, but there are a lot of questions left to be answered about how this roster will look like in 2015.
One of the main ones revolves around wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and whether or not he is going to declare for the NFL Draft. Stoops said he believes Green-Beckham is still up in the air about his decision at this time.
Another uncertainty is running back Joe Mixon. Suspended from all football activities this season, Stoops said Mixon would meet with either Stoops or running backs coach Cale Gundy a couple of times per week.
Stoops said Mixon is doing everything right and everything OU has asked of him to do. Academic reports have been outstanding, but he didn’t commit fully to Mixon being a member of the team next season.
Stoops also addressed Frank Shannon and said he expects the linebacker to return next season. Shannon’s one-year school suspension should end in May, and then as long as he continues to do what OU is asking of him, he should be good to go.