Wednesday Morning Practice Notes 8/18

News and notes from Wednesday morning's practice with quotes from Bob Stoops, Eric Bassey and J.D. Runnels. Also, Chuck Long breaks down the progress of true freshman Rhett Bomar (pictured left) and the other Sooner QBs. (Photo Courtesy of

The Oklahoma football team returned to the practice field Wednesday morning for the beginning of their second two-a-day session this fall.

The Sooners worked out in shorts, helmets and shoulders pads, but did get a scare near the end of practice when redshirt freshman Carl Pendleton took a knee to the back of his neck while laying under a pile.

Pendleton was on the ground for a while, but was coherent and able to move all his extremities before leaving the practice field in an ambulance.

"I think Carl is going to be OK," said OU Coach Bob Stoops after Monday's morning's workout. "I don't think it's anything serious, but when you're dealing with the head or neck anything is possible."

Below is more news, notes and quotes from Wednesday's practice.


Defensive tackle coach Jackie Shipp broke down his units' performance in last night's practice report. And today, Bob Stoops threw in his two cents.

"I think we're doing great," Stoops said. "We have two guys really leading us in Dusty (Dvoracek) and Lynn McGruder. Dusty has been a great leader for us for three years, and Lynn is really coming into his own. I think he's going to have a great year.

"Remi (Ayodele) is a big guy who tries hard. Carl Pendleton has made tremendous strides. He's a very athletic and intelligent guy. And Cory Bennett is going to be a good player in the future."

Redshirt freshman Lawrence Dampeer missed this morning's practice for personal reasons.


Junior fullback J.D. Runnels has always been an key part of the Sooner offense as a blocker, but this fall he's starting to get more work catching and running the ball.

"I never asked for the ball more," Runnels said after Wednesday's practice. "That's not my cup of tea. I'm a team player. But if they think that I can help us, then I'm all for it. I think I can make something happen when i get the ball in my hands."

Runnels also joked that he may become even more of a focal point for the defense if he starts getting more touches.

"Every time I take the field Coach Venables is yelling at me saying that they're going to key on me. We have Jason White, Mark Clayton, KeJuan Jones and Brandon Jones, and the defensive coordinator is saying they're going to key on me? When I go into a hole usually the tailbacks behind me, so I guess that's the case."

Runnels also said that there's a good reason why he feels healthy so far through camp despite its physical nature.

"I like to believe that I'm giving the hits," said Runnels.


Everybody obviously knows about Jason White's abilities, so we asked Chuck Long to give us his thoughts on the rest the Sooner quarterbacks' progress thus far.

"Paul Thompson is a guy that has made a lot of progress in the spring and has carried on through that this fall."

"Tommy Grady has improved since the spring, but the biggest adjustment he's having to make is he's not getting the reps he got in the spring. So, he's having to take advantage of the reps he gets."

"Rhett Bomar — you can just see the talent that he has. He is a very skilled quarterback. You can tell he's a coaches son. He's got a real intelligent presence about him. He has the ability to be a big play quarterback, and he can make all the throws."


Eric Bassey continues to hold one of the starting spots at corner, but the junior says it's not going to be easy to keep.

"At Oklahoma, we always have great talent. It seems that every fast guy we have is at corner or wide receiver. And I think some of our defensive linemen could outrun me," joked Bassey.

"You've to Chijioke, Darien Williams, Jowahn Poteat. Even our freshman (Marcus Walker) is good enough to start. Everyday it pushes you. There's no question that you get pushed everyday. But I feel very comfortable playing the position and what I'm doing."


Jammal Brown missed practice once again because of the death of a close family member, but Chris Bush did return and go through drills for the first time since Sunday's scrimmage.

Vince Carter was also held out of the workout to give his knee a rest, and that left the door open for Chris Chester and Bush to work at center.

Davin Joseph worked again at Jammal Brown's right tackle spot for several reps, but Wes Sims stayed at left tackle and didn't move to guard from what we could tell.

John Flynn, Bush and J.D. Quinn also worked in with the first team line at guard.


Practice highlights...

There appears to be a pretty good battle going on for the starting punter spot. Blake Ferguson looked good again today, but redshirt freshman Cody Freeby is really beginning to impress. This is one battle to watch for the remainder of the fall.

Adrian Peterson finished his running work early without a sling, but then spent the rest of the workout icing down his shoulder and watching the OU running backs. Tashard Choice still isn't 100 percent, and spent some time during practice riding the bicycle.

Oklahoma's defense worked a lot on their blitz packages today, but it didn't seem to phase White or Thompson. On one play, Thompson hit Brandon Jones over the middle for a 50-yard touchdown against the first team defense. And Rhett Bomar also got burned the first team defense when hit Willie Roberts for a 55-yard score.

On defense, it was another good day for defensive end Larry Birdine, who batted down two passes.

The Sooners will return to the practice field again tonight at 5:15 p.m.

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