SPRING FOOTBALL: Jones ready for the competition

Junior running back KeJuan Jones talks his off-season progress, spring practice and competing with Adrian Peterson.

NORMAN, Okla. — Junior Kejuan Jones has more experience in the backfield than any of the other six running backs, but his playing time is far from secure. Jones is in an intense battle to hold onto his edge this spring and he knows that Adrian Peterson will be in Norman in time for two-a-days.

Jones got ready for the competition by becoming heavier (8 pounds), stronger (8 reps at 225) and faster (out of his cuts). And by all accounts, Jones is in the best shape of his life and ready for all comers.

Recently after a practice, Jones sat down with OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.

JH: You look fantastic, and I hear your off-season was fantastic. Is that true?

KJ: "Me and Coach Schmidt worked a lot on getting my weight up. I am at 195 to 196 right now and I am just getting a lot more strength in my upper body. I think I did a real good job of that this off-season and I have been working hard on just cutting better, or harder out of my cuts.

JH: Are you quicker this spring?

KJ: "I think I am quicker on my cuts and hitting the holes a lot faster. I think it also goes along with me finally getting a good feel about a position. I am just a lot more comfortable back there."

JH: You seem to be competing so hard. Are you now really turning it loose?

KJ: "Oh yeah, and that is just about all that it is. All you have to do is be patient with the type of offensive line that we have now. Those guys are going to fire off the ball and you have to be patient and hit the hole hard. That is what I am trying to do. I am just trying to be patient and hit the hole with everything that I have."

JH: How do you view the competition at running back?

KJ: "I think the competition is great and I think every great Division 1 school needs great competition. You have seven great running backs competing and that is going to make you that much better. I love the competition, and if you don't have competition at a position then you are not going to become a better player."

JH: Did it bother you that OU signed the No. 1 prep running back in the country?

KJ: "I am kind of happy that guy (Adrian Peterson) is coming in here. It is just going to make our team a lot better. That is also going to push me to work harder to keep my position. I am not worried about him or things like that. I know what I have to do and I know my teammates have confidence in me to get the job done."

JH: Coach Long says he wants to use this spring to get the running game going. Can you sense the urgency in practice?

KJ: "Oh yeah, this is a very important this spring for the running game. We want to get the running game going this spring so we can carry that momentum into the fall camp. We are working hard just getting the ball into the running backs hands earlier so that we can make that move at the line of scrimmage if we have to. That is going to be a big help for us."

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