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Mykel Jones will likely play a role for the Oklahoma Sooners as a freshman

Freshman receiver has been the talk of preseason camp

NORMAN – The Oklahoma Sooners’ top receiver, Dede Westbrook, kept it really simple Monday afternoon when giving reasons why freshman Mykel Jones’ name continues to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

Explosive, willing to learn and improve.

Route-running, cuts and maturity on the field.

Despite an injury early in preseason camp, Jones never left the discussion. Coaches have compared him to Sterling Shepard – albeit a young Shepard. He has been pointed out as a possible punt returner and a player that impressed some players from Day 1.

Basically, Jones isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“We think he has a chance to be a really good player,” Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “I don’t think you can say steal until several years down the road. We’re really happy that we got him. . . .  He’s competitive. He’s mature. He’s got some ability. He’s going to factor in here at some point pretty soon.”

After his early injury, Jones didn’t get back on the field until the Sooners’ first scrimmage. On his first day back, quarterback Baker Mayfield said he looked “really good.” Mayfield said that the coaching staff kept Jones close during his injury to keep him up to speed with learning the playbook and going through the extensive mental reps necessary to play as a true freshman.

Jones kept that focus himself, too.

Oklahoma doesn’t allow freshmen or transfers who haven’t played in a game to speak with the media, but Jones doesn’t have to say much. Most of his teammates will speak praise about him freely – and sometimes even when not asked.

“When he first got here, we were very impressed with how he looked physically,” Mayfield said. “He’s not a big guy, but he’s ripped up and he’s quick. He’s very shifty and he’s got great ball skills. He can go up and jump. He’s kind of a player that I think his game is more similar to Sterling than any other receiver. Kind of a smaller guy but plays a lot bigger. Very explosive.”

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