Youngsters get a chance in final scrimmage

See inside for a position-by-position breakdown from Tuesday scrimmage, including quotes from Bob Stoops, Chuck Long, Kevin Wilson, Kevin Sumlin, Davin Joseph, Wes Sims and Zach Latimer. Pictured left: Freshman QB Rhett Bomar. (Photo courtesy of

The Oklahoma football team returned to Owen Field Tuesday night for their last scrimmage of the fall open to the public.

The Sooners went through the majority of their practice on the practice fields South of Owen Field, and then went through a short 30 minute scrimmage with the backups inside Memorial Stadium.

"It was good. I liked it," said OU Head Coach Bob Stoops. "I thought both quarterbacks looked really good. D.J. Wolfe looked good and has looked great. He looked really solid out here tonight. There were a lot of good plays on both sides."

"I just think we're running with more attitude. I think we're running with more aggressiveness. I just like what we're doing right now."

Quarterback Coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator Chuck Long also talked about the Sooners' workouts this week after the scrimmage.

"Right now we're still working on us," Long said. "We'll get into Bowling Green later in the week. We're still polishing and looking at some things. Sometimes it's just asking ourselves if we should give that player or scheme another chance. Do we want to throw it out? That's what we've spent some time on this week."

"We've worked on things like the last play of the game, the hail mary's, safe punts, how to take a safety. All those little things that you work a little bit on, but you have to be able to do them correctly."

So who has impressed Long so far in camp?

"We've had some guys who have really grown up this camp. Guys that stick out right now, offensively, are guys like Mark Bradley. He has really come on. Travis Wilson has come on. KeJuan Jones is a much different player than he was last year. Jason White maturity-wise. Believe it or not, Mark Clayton has gotten better than he was last year."

Below is a position-by-position recap with notes and quotes from Tuesday's scrimmage and practice.

Tommy Grady and Rhett Bomar were the only two quarterbacks to participate in the scrimmage, and each had their moments.

For the most part, both quarterbacks spent the day running from the defensive linemen and linebackers on passing plays. Tommy Grady led the longest drive on the first of the scrimmage picking up several first downs on third and long and fourth down situations.

Rhett Bomar looked great when he had time to throw. However, he threw the only interception of the scrimmage. It was a perfect pass but went off the hands of tight end Joe John Finley and into the hands of Rufus Alexander.

Running Back
D.J. Wolfe and Jacob Gutierrez were the only two running backs to get reps on Tuesday.

Freshman Adrian Peterson did not scrimmage but was seen on the practice fields wearing a blue jersey to signify he was not to be hit. However, Peterson went through most of the non-contact drills, and even worked with the first team offense during several team drills.

Jacob Gutierrez had one nice run early on during the scrimmage when he was stopped at the line, but managed to power his way through and move the pile for a 3-yard gain. Later in the drive, Gutierrez juked and jived his way through the line for a 9-yard gain. But on his next carry he was hit at the line and lost a fumble.

Redhshirt freshmen D.J. Wolfe showed a little bit of everything on Tuesday, even the ability to run over a defender. Wolfe bulled over Lewis Baker after catching one screen pass, and later ran over a walk-on safety near the end of a 12-yard run. Wolfe had a great scrimmage.

As for the fullbacks, Kevin Sumlin says the battle for the backup job behind J.D. Runnels is beginning to heat up.

"We're having some great competition once we moved Russell Denison over there. We have Dennison, Dan Townsend and Jordan Greene. At the moment, Townsend has probably edged out into the lead at that positoin. He has a little more experience than the other two and knows a little more about it. What's amazing is he was one of the true freshmen to play for us last year and he got into about nine games. Nobody realizes that. He's a bigger, stronger, better football player this year. I think we will have competition at that position throughout the year."

Wide Receiver/Tight End
We've already talked about Quentin Chaney so far thus fall, but the Sooners two other freshmen got a chance to catch some balls today. Lendy Holmes looked good with two nice back-to-back catches on short routes, and Fred Strong had a nice catch and run after running a short out pattern.

As for the tight ends, Joe John Finley and Willie Roberts worked solely at the position and each looked good catching the ball with some 15-yard gains.

"I think they have made great strides from last year," said Tight End Coach Kevin Sumlin. "They made a lot of strides in the spring. We are still coming, they are still growing. Schmitty is still working with both of them. We have two more years with Willie, and Joe John is really a freshmen. They have both come on in their physical style of play. I think we are pleased with their development, but we still have a way to go."

Offensive Line
The Wes Sims/Davin Jospeh continued on Tuesday, and by all accounts both players are still trying to get adjusted to their new positions.

"It's a little different right now," said Sims on playing guard. "Just being in a right-handed stance and being on the right side of the line, everything seems a little backwards. But it's not too bad."

"Jason needs to watch out for his blindside until I get this done," joked Joseph on his move to tackle. "It's different alright. Being more of a left-handed pass pro, it's is a struggle right now."

Wilson says the jury is still out on if the move will stick come Sept. 4.

"Other than just flipping the play, they kind of know what they doing anyway," Wilson said. "Both those have played a lot of football. I don't know if this will ever be permanent. I don't think we're going to have a revolving door. I told James earlier in the day, that when Lance Mitchell got hurt, we moved Teddy to the 'Mike', and that wasn't going to work out so we ended up with Gayron. So, it's worth looking at.

"When Jammal was gone Davin played tackle and looked pretty good," Wilson continued. "Wes has had his best camp and preseason and has looked good. But we just want to see if this will make us a better offensive line."

In the scrimmage, John Flynn worked with the second team at center along with Chris Messner and Akim Millington at tackle, and Brett Rayl and J.D. Quinn at guard.

Speaking of Millington, the OU coaches seem to think he's beginning to separate himself as the third offensive tackle. OU feels that that if Joseph could be moved tackle, and Millington would make an excellent combo there next season.

Defensive Line
There's no other way to put it than to say that the defensive line dominated during the scrimmage.

True freshman defensive tackle Cory Bennet had a great scrimmage with a couple of sacks, and redhsirt freshman Steven Coleman had a sack and a fumble recovery. Lawrence Dampeer also got lots of work and made several plays.

Redhshirt freshman defensive end John Williams also recorded a sack.

Zach Latimer, Lewis Baker and Rufus Alexander got most of the reps at linebacker during the scrimmage.

Alexander made a great interception off a pass that bounced off the hands of tight end Joe John Finley. And Latimer looked great making several plays from sideline to sideline and in the backfield.

"I really like it. I can pretty much roam and make plays," said Latimer on finding a home at middle linebacker. "They have the d-tackles up their taking up all the blocks as they charge inside, so it's easy for a guy like me to go make the play.

"I just wanted to find someplace. I was getting frustrated and I just wanted to find some place where I could make plays and fun. I've tried the end and I've tried the 'Will', but I think I've found a home now and I am happy."

For the most part, the secondary faired pretty well during the scrimmage. They gave up a few yards on out patterns and to the tight ends over the middle, but didn't give up the big play.

Darien Williams and Chijioke started at corner during the scrimmage with Tony Cade and Darren Stephens at safety. True freshmen corner Marcus Walker and safety Brett Bowers also saw considerable time.

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