The Oklahoma football season is almost here. Media day means we’re all one step closer toward things getting rolling in Norman.
Media day was also a chance for head coach Bob Stoops to address a variety of issues following the first week of practice for the Sooners.
Take 1: Mixon issue still a situation for OU
Before media day was the annual Meet the Sooners day for the team. Noticeably absent was redshirt freshman running back Joe Mixon.
Mixon is back with the team and is not being limited in anything he is doing, but OU continues to monitor how to handle his situation out in the public.
Stoops said that was the only reason why Mixon wasn’t at the autograph session Saturday morning. It was not a form of punishment – just a precautionary measure as OU continues to try to figure out how to handle the situation best.
“He’s a young guy,” Stoops said. “We’ll limit Samaje Perine in how much he has to do as well. I get that you want to be able to give the fans and people who they are, but they also have a big schedule with their academic load with tutoring and mentoring at night, nutrition during the day and during the week when they’re doing that.
“They can only do so much. They’re at a young age. There’s a balance to it. We’ll balance it the best we can.”
Mixon is returning from a season-long suspension after getting involved in an off the field incident last year following his birthday party.
Some have suggested OU hold a press conference with Mixon to talk about the situation once and for all so everybody can move on.
It’s something OU has considered, said Stoops. But so far, it is not something that has been done.
Take 2: Shannon is back
Mixon obviously wasn’t the lone Sooner to make headlines for off the field reasons last year as senior linebacker Frank Shannon is also back in the fold.
Shannon was not enrolled at OU last school year after a Title IX investigation of sexual assault. No criminal charges were ever filed.
A year away, but Stoops said Shannon looks like himself.
“He looks really good,” Stoops said. “Really moving well. He’s a guy that has played a lot of football, can tell he makes a difference there. Not only playing on the field but getting the calls.”
Shannon gives OU some depth at middle linebacker to go with last year’s starters Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans. Mike Stoops said Shannon looks a little rusty in the first week, but he added he is not worried about Shannon finding his groove once again.
Take 3: Roster cleanup
But Stoops said those are the only two right now as OU continues to wait on word for top 50 juco prospect Austin Roberts.
A transcript issue continues to delay things with Roberts. Sources continue to say everything should be good to go when it’s settled, but the longer the wait, the more anxious it’s becoming for all involved.
Also, the status of Dalton Wood continues to be unknown. Wood has not reported to camp, and it almost sounds like Stoops is ready to turn the page.
“We’re not sure,” Stoops said. “We’re not expecting him. He hasn’t been here all summer. We wish him the best. We haven’t had a lot of conversations about that.”