The 2016 season is just about underway for Oklahoma. Head coach Bob Stoops was back addressing the media. Here are three of the biggest takeaways from the Saturday afternoon press conference.
Take 3: OU media day
Take 1: Jordan Thomas status remains unknown
One of the biggest questions for Oklahoma heading into its season opener against Houston is the status of cornerback Jordan Thomas.
Thomas has been involved in multiple off the field incidents, but Stoops said his status for the game against the Cougars hasn’t been decided.
Stoops has been pretty consistent in saying Thomas’ prior issues off the field will not factor into this one at all and that once the legal process plays out, he will make a final decision.
If Thomas is suspended for a quarter, half, game, whatever, it would mean OU would be playing with two new starting cornerbacks.
Both Bob and Mike Stoops said the early edge remains with Dakota Austin in terms of being the other starting cornerback. Guys like P.J. Mbanasor, Michiah Quick, among others, are definitely in the hunt as well.
Take 2: Don’t forget about Geno
Obviously the Sooners have a lot to replace at wide receiver from last year with Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal no longer on the team.
There are several younger players making their mark, but don’t be surprised to see graduate transfer Geno Lewis make a big splash.
“Geno has been a strong player for us,” Stoops said.
It was clear Lewis was still feeling his way out in the spring, coming to Norman from Penn State. His leadership off the field could be as valuable as his ability on the field.
Stoops said it’s really obvious from the way Lewis plays that he’s someone who has been through a lot and brings some invaluable experience to the group.
Take 3: Young linebackers look the part
We’re still four Saturdays away from knowing 100 percent what OU is going to decide at linebacker. Older guys like Ogbonnia Okoronkwo have been waiting in the wings.
But when you see the freshmen trio of Caleb Kelly, Mark Jackson and Jon-Michael Terry, you start to realize how bright the future could be going forward.
“They’re what you want,” Stoops said.
Kelly was OU’s lone five-star signee from the class, while Jackson was a last-minute steal from Texas A&M. Terry, though not as highly touted, was OU’s first commitment for the 2016 class.