NORMAN – Austin Seibert has yet to attempt a single kick-off through the first week and a half of preseason camp. Special teams coordinator Jay Boulware certainly doesn’t need to see him kick, Seibert had the biggest leg last year.
In fact, Seibert is only kicking three days a week and never on back-to-back days. There’s a plan, because right now, there’s a good chance that Seibert serves as Oklahoma’s punter, its kicker and its kick-off specialist this upcoming season.
“With a guy that can do all three, you want to make sure that you limit his actual number of attempts each day,” Boulware said. “He doesn’t kick every day. He’s on a day, off a day. And I don’t want him to get more than three days in a week. We’re going through camp. I’m really just trying to manage him and make sure that he’s able to go the entire season.”
And Seibert is the best at all three.
He was the best at all three last season, but Nick Hodgson was capable on kick-offs and asking a true freshman to do all three jobs would have been a big task. Seibert said that not much has changed with his routine, but he knows that he must watch his reps – something that got him in a little bit of trouble last season.
Boulware said that Seibert his hitting field goals better than he was at the beginning of last season.
Seibert seems to understand the importance of leveling off his workload in practice after he said last year that he wore down following the best start to a career in Oklahoma Sooners history.
Having that first year under his belt will help with the ups and downs of this coming season.
“Playing at places like Tennessee, playing in front of all our fans, just being in the hostile environments, definitely helps a lot,” Seibert said. “It just gives you the courage to do well there and everything. You’ve just got to stay positive and stick to your game.”
Sticking to the game plan will be important in preseason camp for Seibert because Boulware is focused on the potential 13-game schedule not just the first half or the non-conference season. Boulware’s goal is to keep Seibert healthy through the entire year.
“He’s right along with it,” Boulware said. “I’ve got him right where I want him.”