PRACTICE REPORT: White, Rankins draw praise

OU Head Coach Bob Stoops talks about the play of Jason White, JeJuan Rankins and several other Sooners after Wednesday's practice.

NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma's second round of practices on Wednesday started outside at the intramural practice fields, but was quickly moved into the indoor practice facility to avoid the rain.

The Sooners still worked out for over two hours in full pads, but the coaches didn't want full contact and there was a lot more teaching and assignment work than hitting.

Starting quarterback Jason White returned to the practice field after sitting out this morning's workout and continued his impressive work against the first team defense. White hit Brandon Jones over the middle on three occasions for big gains.

OU Head Coach Bob Stoops wasted no time in praising his starting signal caller after practice.

"He's been on the entire camp," said Stoops. "He had a great night tonight. It wasn't just that he threw the ball well, it's where he threw the ball. If you're going to pass over the middle against our defense you better put it in the right spot or we will get it. Jason found the seams and holes, our receivers found them as well, and he put his best velocity on it. Jason has been a standout for us throughout camp."

Besides Jones, who had a great practice on Wednesday night, White also hooked up with sophomore JeJuan Rankins. Rankins has become one of Stoops' favorites, and he impressed tonight catching a couple of slants over the middle and juking defenders on his way to extra yardage.

"JeJuan is just a big time football player," said Stoops. "We knew that when we recruited him. He just has a knack for making plays. Every football team has to have playmakers and JeJuan is going to be one for us."

Another player who is making a move and catching Stoops' eye is true freshmen Joe John Finley. Finley got some work with the second team and made the most of it running good routes and making catches.

"He's a good football player," said Stoops. "You can tell he understands the game. And he should, because he grew up in a football family. He has a knack for getting open and he catches the football well."

James Moses continued to work as the first team tight end with Lance Donley on the second team. Juco transfer Willie Roberts got some work with the second team and caught a couple of short passes.

Kejuan Jones and Renaldo Works continued to split time with the first team for most of the practice. And Donta Hickson got a lot more work with the first team when the offense used the I-formation.

Sophomore quarterback Paul Thompson continued his good string of practices and hooked up with Travis Wilson a couple of times. Wilson had a great practice and made a great diving catch for a 38-yard gain and also caught a nice out route. Wilson also was impressive when he caught a short post over the middle when he went up against Jason Carter.

Again, there wasn't much full contact going on, which took away from any defensive standouts, but one player who stood out was Tommie Harris. Harris was unblockable most of the night and always seemed to be in the backfield. Junior defensive end Jonathan Jackson was also in the backfield a bunch, and gave redshirt freshmen tackle Chris Messner a couple of lessons on what not to do to block him coming off the edge.

True freshmen defensive ends Alonzo Dotson and John Williams could be in a battle for playing time as the No. 4 or No. 5 defensive end, and got a lot of work tonight rotating with the second team defense.

The Tommy Grady saga is officially over as the true freshmen from California suited up for his first practice as a Sooner. Grady threw the ball well along with the other quarterbacks early, but did not compete in the team drills against the defense. Grady is by far the Sooners' tallest quarterback and is a legit 6-foot-7.

Junior defensive end Dan Cody returned to practice while receiver Will Peoples did not. The unofficial word on Peoples is that he has a sprained left knee and could be out for at least one week.

OU will return to the intramural practice fields tomorrow for just one workout beginning at 8 a.m.

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