Take 3: OU, Stoops ready for spring

Stoops was back addressing the media about all issues regarding OU spring football.

Still two days away from the first spring football practice for Oklahoma, but coach Bob Stoops addressed the media for the first time since signing day.

Sooners Illustrated was there, and here are three things worth noting from the 30-minute press conference.

Take No. 1: Roster items

A lot of little items were addressed regarding the roster and regarding what to expect for OU during the next month.

Stoops said redshirt freshman Joe Mixon is going to practice with no restrictions, but he will not play in the spring game April 11.

“That was part of the policy we had from when we started the suspension,” Stoops said.

Mixon is wearing No. 25 this season and is back in the good graces after serving his one-season suspension.

Other items of note? Linebacker Dominique Alexander will miss spring because of recent wrist surgery. Alexander hurt his wrist back in October, and it looked like he had healed up.

Stoops said Alexander will be ready to roll for summer workouts and mentioned guys like Tay Evans and Curtis Bolton as players who could fill the void. Frank Shannon cannot as his one-year suspension is not over, but Stoops reiterated Shannon will join the team once again in late May.

Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Courtney Garnett will miss spring after tearing his ACL during winter workouts, while offensive lineman Nila Kasitati is expected to miss the first week of spring but should return after spring break.

Cornerback Cortez Johnson no longer being with the team was the only surprise as David Smith and Taylor McNamara had already decided they were going to transfer.

Only position change sees former tight end Isaac Ijalana move to defensive end. Stoops said Ijalana played the position at high school so he's not worried.

Take No. 2: Quarterback issue not likely to be resolved

Last year there was not one question about who the quarterback was going to be as it was clearly Trevor Knight’s team.

Following an inconsistent season and massive coaching changes, the competition is wide open. Stoops has been OK with that in the past and certainly seems to be OK with that now.

“I don’t worry about that,” said Stoops about not having a No. 1 guy right now. “Always feel competition during the spring, summer continues to push guys. Competition is a coach’s best friend. We’ll see how it goes.”

A new system was one reason for the open competition with the likely favorites being Knight and Baker Mayfield, now 100 percent eligible to play with OU.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Stoops said. “We watched him win the scout team player of the week just about every week. He works hard, has a lot of experience.”

Cody Thomas and Justice Hansen will also be in the discussion.

Take No. 3: New role for Mike Stoops

A huge change defensively is the shifting of defensive coordinator Mike Stoops from coaching the safeties to now coaching the outside linebackers.

The reasoning was simple, said Bob Stoops.

“My feeling with him is that he can move around and drift (in practice) and overlook everything,” Bob Stoops said.

Stoops talked about how the move for his brother simplifies things and will help Mike be able to manage things better.

Also discussed is the possibility of Mike Stoops going from the field during games to being in the press box. Bob Stoops said it’s something they will experiment with this spring and see how everything goes before making a final decision.

Kerry Cooks is taking over coaching the defensive backs for the Sooners.


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