Hard work pays off for Renaldo

OU Head Coach Bob Stoops says senior running back Renaldo Works will start against North Texas. Plus more news and notes from Thursday's practice, including quotes from Stoops, Works and cornerback Mark Bradley.

NORMAN, Okla. — Renaldo Works has been waiting for this day for the last three years.

The senior from Tulsa, Okla. was named Oklahoma's starting running back for the North Texas game by head coach Bob Stoops following Thursday's practice.

"He had a tremendous camp," said Stoops. "And to be honest, he had an incredible summer and great spring. He's improved as much as anybody on our football team, and he was already a really good player.

"He has run hard, become a good blocker and with his with his work ethic he has become a great team leader. There's no coincidence he was named captain."

"I'm really speechless," said Works on the decision. "First of all let me give glory to God. I'm honored that they think I'm the starting running back, but I know we have a number of real good running backs."

"It just seems like I have been working hard and waiting for my opportunity," Works continued. "I've tried to be patient, but I've also tried to show them I can be the kind of player that can help win football games. I'm very happy, but I also realize that there's other guys on this football team that can get it done. It's going to take a team effort to move the ball and all of us are going to get a chance."

Works says that he never gave up in his pursuit to be the starter.

"Maybe it shows if you keep working hard and believe in yourself that other people will start believing too," said Works. "There were times when I was playing here that I wasn't sure if I'd ever get the chance to be the main guy."

And now the big question is what will happen to sophomore Kejuan Jones? Will he rotate with Works?

"I really don't know how we're going to do that," said Stoops. "We'll know more about that after our first four games. I really don't know what the decision is going to be on when to get Kejuan or anyone else in the game."

Stoops also wasn't ready to hand over the jumbo back spot over to Jones.

"I'm not saying we won't run him in that, but he'll do some of the other stuff too," said Stoops.

Senior quarterback Jason White returned to practice and looked very good running the offense against the scout team defense.

The OU coaches have said the only knock on White thus far is his inconsistency throwing the deep ball. Well, today was White's best practice yet throwing the deep ball as he hit Travis Wilson and Mark Clayton deep. White also found JeJuan Rankins and Wilson on deep sideline routes. White seems to be doing better at putting more air under the ball and leading the receiver.

But as good as White was throwing deep, he still had his moments throwing into coverage on shorter routes when he was almost picked off by Teddy Lehman and Donte Nicholson in the two minute drill. White also orchestrated a drive in the two minute drill which was capped by a touchdown pass to Travis Wilson on a post pass. Wilson beat Darren Stephens on the play.

White also looked very good today moving and scrambling. White scrambled on one play and hit James Moses over the middle for a first down. And on another play he eluded Lehman on a rush.

Both Oklahoma's offense and defense spent the majority of the practice working against the scout team in certain situations, such as the two minute drill. The scout team defense had a mixture of first, second and third team players.

Redshirt freshman Chris Messner continued to work as the first team left tackle. Junior center Vince Carter was held out of practice today and was replaced by Chris Bush. Bob Stoops said after practice that both the center and left tackle spots are still up for grabs and won't be decided on until next week.

Junior walk-on Mark Bradley spent his second practice at receiver and dropped a couple of balls during skelly drills. Bradley looks like a million bucks, but appears to be a tad rusty at receiver.

Bradley talked with us after practice about his move to receiver.

"After spring the coaches told me I might play on both sides of the ball," said Bradley. "In some ways I think I'm more of a natural offensive player, but I enjoyed playing corner as well. It's just not as natural for me."

Bradley also says he doesn't expect his knee injury to be a problem from here on out.

"I have not had a problem with my knee since I moved over," said Bradley. "On defense, it was raring up on me, but I don't think I'm going to have a problem with it."

The Sooners will return to the practice field on Friday at 5 p.m. Thursday's workout was the final open practice to the public and the rest of the workout will be closed and moved to the regular practice fields south of Memorial Stadium.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories