Friday's 8/13 Practice Report

News and notes from the Sooners first practice in full pads, including quotes from Bob Stoops, Kevin Sumlin, Mark Bradley and Davin Joseph. Senior linebacker Lance Mitchell (pictured left) showed no ill-effects from knee surgery in his first full contact practice this fall.

As expected, the Oklahoma Football team started out their first practice in full pads with the Oklahoma drill.

If you still had any questions that Lance Mitchell wasn't going to return as the Lance Mitchell of old, those thoughts should be no more after today's workout.

Lance Mitchell had the hit of the day in the Oklahoma Drill when he shucked offensive lineman Akim Millington, collided head-on with running back Donta Hickson and then proceeded to pick him up and pile drive him into the turf.

Eric Bassey had the best hit for the little guys, even drawing high fives from the offensive players.

"Our guys really got after it," said Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops. "It was a real good practice in that way, even though they practice that way all the time. You can see they play with a little more emotion because they have full pads on.

"The guys have fun in the Oklahoma Drill," Stoops continued. "I think it' s great team unity drill because everybody is rooting for somebody. Everybody gets excited about a big play. I thought guys had good reps on both sides of the ball. It was just a good day all around."

Quarterback
It was another so-so day for the Sooner quarterbacks because of tough pressure from the defensive line, but Jason White, Tommy Grady and Rhett Bomar all looked good throwing the ball for the most part.

Bomar got only one play in the pass skell drills and threw an incompletion. But he bounced back to hit Quentin Chaney for a nice 25-yard gain later in practice on a flag route.

White executed a perfect fake to the running back in the short-yardage drill, but his pass to J.D. Runnels was dropped. White also connected on 75-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Jones (see below for more details). Paul Thompson also fumbled once during the short-yardage drills.

Running Back
The Adrian Peterson watch continued on Friday for the first day in full pads and the freshman from Palestine, Texas got more than a chance to show his worth.

Peterson had one nice run in the Oklahoma drill but did fumble on another attempt. However, he got better as the practice went on.

Peterson was stuffed a couple times during the short-yardage portion of practice, but managed to break a 12-yard touchdown run. Peterson really shined in the team blitz drills, picking up runs of 16 and 22 yards. He did fumble on one play, and was summoned by coach Cale Gundy to run through the 'fumbler' machine.

"Everything is going pretty quick for him right now," said Stoops. "Sure, he's got a long way to go, but I like how he competes. AD wants to be good. He's very coachable and there's no doubt you can see his speed."

KeJuan Jones is still working with the first team, and ran hard again on Friday. Jones broke runs of 12 and 14 yard in the team blitz drills, and also caught the ball well out of the backfield.

D.J Wolfe also looked great again catching screens and turning up field. Russell Dennison also got a five-yard catch from Tommy Grady.

Wide Receiver/Tight End
Senior receiver Mark Bradley stepped up big today and had his best practice so far this fall. Bradley, who is coming off of knee surgery, made showed some nice moves on several catches over the middle to pick up extra yards.

"It's not totally back," said Bradley on his knee. "I need to get stretched out better to get the knee loose. I think it's feeling right, but I'm getting closer. Give me another week and I think I'll be there."

The Sooner tight ends had another good day on Friday, and were led once again by Bubba Moses.

"All three tight ends are playing pretty well," said tight end coach Kevin Sumlin. "Bubba is still a little bit ahead and he's having a great camp. Joe John (Finley) will fight you and is catching the ball pretty well. (Willie) Roberts is a lot better player than he was in the spring.

"We had a good spring, and they have picked up from there. They are continuing where they left off, and doing a good job of it."

Offensive Line
Two players who are stepping up huge and forming a massive wall on their side of the o-line are Jammal Brown and Davin Joseph, and both looked great again the Oklahoma drill.

Joseph talked about the line's progress after practice.

"It's kind of spotty, but it's getting there," said Jospeh. "We didn't have Vince (Carter) for about seven months, and now that he's back going full tilt and we're all just getting used to each other once again even though we've played with him a bunch. We're proud of Vince, because he's getting through it. I think, especially on my side of the line, Jammal and I our really playing well together."

Defensive Line
The defensive linemen was definitely a treat to watch during today's Oklahoma Drill. Dusty Dvoracek and Lynn McGruder were their usual selfs, but one of the surprising performers was Moe Dampeer. When fresh, Dampeer is nearly unstoppable.

"When Big Mo is ready to go, he's a load," said Jospeh.

Bob Stoops knows what Dampeer is capable of, but still had some reservations after practice.

"Moe's got some talent," said Stoops. "I just don't know if he's ever going to get in good enough shape for us to play him."

Carl Pendleton also continued to impress and might be the favorite at this point to be the fourth man in Jackie Shipp's defensive tackle rotation.

Calvin Thibodeaux continued to impress at defensive end, and Laenar Nixon recorded one sack.

Linebackers
Lance Mitchell's terrific practice didn't end after the Oklahoma drill. He was all over the field for the rest of the workout and especially looked great stuffing the run in the short-yardage drills.

Lewis Baker got scolded by Brent Venables for a coverage mistake on play, but bounced right back to make the play the next time around and drew praise from Venables.

Rufus Alexander also looked great in coverage, nearly doing what many defenses couldn't do last year when he jumped in front of a receiver over the middle and nearly picked off Jason White.

Secondary
Life as a true freshmen at a major division I program is always fun to watch.

On one play, Marcus Walker does a great job covering Will Peoples on an out-and-up. Walker stayed with him the whole way and knocked the ball down at the 5-yard line drawing praise from Bob Stoops and several defenders.

However, the spring in Walker's step was short-lived as the Sooners when right back at him with the same route on the next play with Brandon Jones, who flew by the freshmen for a 75-yard touchdown catch. So goes the life of a freshman.

But to Walker's credit, he didn't take any smack from Bradley, who quipped, "How could you let BJ beat you like that?" To which Walker replied, "You didn't beat me."

Eric Bassey also had another great workout with some very strong coverage. And true freshmen Brett Bowers, who is never afraid to try and stick his nose in the action and make things happen, made a great tackle on a short pass over the middle to Willie Roberts.

Special Teams
Garrett Hartley was extremely impressive today on his kickoffs. Trey DiCarlo booted several balls into the end zone, but Hartley sent every kick into the end zone with several going deep into the back of end zone.

The kickoff team today consisted of (right to left): Bradley, Bassey, Latimer, Ingram, Dennison, Alexander, Thibodeaux and Brandon Jones.

The kick return team consisted of (left to right): Alexander, Dennison, Ingram, Pleasant, with Cade and Moses rotating on the outside. The three upbacks were Runnels in the middle, Allen on the right and Finley on the left. Bradley and Wilson on the 10. Rankins on the goal line.

The Sooners will practice again tomorrow morning in full pads beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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