Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops addressed the media for the first time as the Sooners prepare to begin spring football on Saturday.
Sooners Illustrated was there and here are the three biggest things to take away from the 33-minute session.
Take No. 1: Injury report
Not too many guys, but OU will be without four key names to start spring. None of them are expected to miss time in the summer and all are expected to be ready to roll when the season comes around.
The four guys are offensive lineman Alex Dalton, running back Samaje Perine, linebacker Jordan Evans and defensive back Stanvon Taylor.
“Alex Dalton, Samaje Perine. Those guys will just be doing conditioning and limited stuff because of their injuries,” Stoops said. “Also, Jordan Evans, can do individual work, but we won’t put him into contact. Stanvon Taylor is the same thing. He had to have ankle surgery after the season.”
Cody Thomas left the team to concentrate on baseball this spring. Stoops said there have been zero discussions about Thomas coming back, but added the team would welcome him back with open arms if that’s what Thomas chooses to do.
As it is, sure looks like OU is ready to have true freshman Austin Kendall as the team’s No. 2 quarterback.
Take No. 2: Spurrier Jr.’s return confirmed
Another blast from the past as Steve Spurrier Jr. is indeed returning to OU in the role Bobby Jack Wright had last year. He will take over in April as the Director of High School recruiting and will also be an offensive quality control coach.
Spurrier Jr. was also in Norman for Stoops’ first years at OU and was the wide receivers coach for OU’s national championship team.
“Steve has great experience. He was part of our originally staff here for the first three years and helped us win a national championship and really get things going here,” Stoops said. “He knows what we’ve based the program on. He also has great experience over the years in a lot of different areas. I’m very excited to have him, another set of eyes that can help us. He does a great job relating to people in recruiting. He’ll do a great job representing us with recruits here as well.”
Spurrier Jr. and the hiring of Calvin Thibodeaux as defensive line coach are the only noteworthy moves in terms of the coaching staff heading into the spring.
Take No. 3: Mayfield continuing to make strides
Despite a fantastic 2015 season, it was clear there were still things quarterback Baker Mayfield could do to put himself in the best position going forward.
According to Stoops, Mayfield has done just that.
“He’s leaned up. He’s gained strength and quickness, but I think he’s eliminated some body fat is the way to say,” Stoops said. “He’s stronger, but hasn’t lost weight.”