Sophomore WLB Lewis Baker continues to have a run of bad luck. After spring football Baker was hit with mono and that put him on the shelf for about a month and his weight dropped back close to 200 pounds. He has just resumed workouts and once again he is trying very hard to put weight back on.
Rufus Alexander has his weight up to about 225 pounds and he continues to work on his speed and agility. Thus far Alexander is having an excellent summer.
Sophomore Zach Latimer currently weighs about 222 pounds and they expect or hope he gets up to at least 225 to 230. Latimer is the backup middle linebacker and he looks to be the man for that position. When Lance Mitchell graduates his main competition for the spot could be Demarrio Pleasant, who was outstanding the final two weeks of spring at SLB. Pleasant is pushing Clint Ingram for that SLB position, but he may also be the future MLB.
Senior Gayron Allen has won the WLB job and his nickname is 'G-money'. The name fits him because the OU coaches know exactly what they are getting out of Allen as he is always in the right place using the correct form and always making plays despite his lack of size.
OU's big concern on defense right now is at short corner. Junior Eric Bassey is having a great summer just like he had a great off-season leading into the spring. However, Bassey did not scrimmage well the final two scrimmages and he didn't always do well in seven-on-seven drills in the spring. Bassey needs to get better under fire. He has great speed and is a tremendous worker, but if he doesn't start having success on the field he won't be the man at short corner.
Junior Jowahn Poteat is getting a lot of work at short corner after an excellent spring. However, he has never played the position and thus far has never been a prime time performer for the Sooners. Redshirt freshman Darrien Williams is another candidate and he may be the guy, but at times struggles in coverage because he is more of a true safety.
Juco transfer Chijioke Onyenegecha had a solid spring despite his sore hamstring. However, thus far this summer he has been going to so much summer school that his workouts have been inconsistent. Chijioke makes it to all the workouts that he can, but he is putting a lot of time on the books right now so that he can be eligible for next season.
His hamstring is improving every day and he is expected to be 100 percent when two-a-days roll around. OU still doesn't know what they are getting in Chijioke. They know he is a tremendous athlete, but he is missing valuable time where he could learn the defense. That lack of knowledge on the defense hurt Chijioke's progress, and the fact he is not getting a chance to go through a lot of the 7-on-7 drills doesn't help him either. If he is healthy in August then maybe his natural ability will carry him, but the jury is still out on him.
True freshman Marcus Walker has already made a statement and he is going to be a contender at the short corner job in August. Walker came into camp at a very solid at 180 pounds and wowed Jerry Schmidt and company with a 4.4 time in the forty and a 3.71 shuttle time. He has not been intimidated by the experienced OU receivers during 7-on-7 drills and he has matched up with them from day one and winning many of the battles. He is a natural cover corner and he may be the next Derrick Strait.
Offseason Football Notebook
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
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