NORMAN, Okla. — Run Game Coordinator and offensive line coach Kevin Wilson has revitalized the Sooners offensive line in just two years. This year's group has been a work in progress to a certain extent, but the feeling is that the offensive line will wind up being a strength on the team. OUInsider.com talked with Coach Wilson last week about the future of the offensive line for the OUInsider.com two minute drill.
JH: How are your freshmen coming along?
KW: As far as offensive line they are all OK, pretty good at this point. I don't think they are special at this time. Akim (Millington) is the furthest along and hopefully we can stay healthy enough that he can redshirt for us. Brian Zimpel is a very naturally talented guard and he will be a good guard for us. He is learning how to play hard all the time. The same goes for Antonn (Reid). I think they are both good, but I don't know if they were as conditioned or mentally prepared to play hard all the time. But physically they really do some things pretty good. I am not disappointed or down. I don't have a mistake in the group. If you ask most of the coaches, I probably have the three least most impressive guys among the freshmen crowd. I think they are all three going to be good and I have a couple that are still learning how to play hard all the time with the strength and the intensity that you need to play with. At this level the speed of the game is a big adjustment for those fat guys, so it is just getting them in shape early in their first year and the winter. Again, Akim is the closest to playing and I hope that we don't have to play him."
JH: Where is Antonn Reid playing?
KW: "He is at center, while Brian (Zimpel) is at left guard. Antonn had never played center, but he looks good there and is improving every day. A couple of young guys that also are working with us are Stephen Tremaine, the guy out of Norman, who works on our scout team every day and our coaches love him. Our coaches who work with him on the scout team say that he plays hard every play and he hasn't missed a play. He is a freshman that I think has a bright future for us. As a freshman, I don't think he is very much different physically as Chris Messner was at that same time in his career. He is a tall, athletic guy that just needs to get stronger and bigger. I think he has a bright future, which is a positive. So, I have three guys on scholarship and a fourth guy that is close to being with those other first year guys. A winter with Jerry (Schmidt) will be good for all of those guys."
JH: On Monday Night Football (scrimmage) how do you line up in the offensive line?
KW: "Antonn is at center and David Walker will come down here with Adam Panter and Randy Garibay. Akim plays right tackle, Stephen at left tackle and Brian Zimpel at left guard."
JH: Is offensive line the toughest position to make the adjustment from high school to college football?
KW: "Well, it is certainly one of them because there are a lot of mental things going on. There are a lot of adjustments with shifts, motions, and in college defenses play so darn fast. So, when they go on the scout team every day they are getting great exposure going against those guys every day. The speed of the game and the speed of who we are competing against is a huge adjustment for us to make. That is why it is been amazing, but good for us that we had a couple of freshmen play for us the last couple of years. Typically, the least likely position on a football team where a guy would play as a freshman would be the offensive line. Hopefully, we will save Akim and he won't have to play this year."
Two Minute Drill: Kevin Wilson
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