Offseason News and Notes

Edmond, Okla. freshman defensive back Reggie Smith (pictured above) is one of just many Sooners who has stepped up and impressed during the summer workouts.

Davin Joseph has become a tremendous leader for the program and Chris Bush is a great worker. Chris Chester is working hard to get up to 300 pounds, but right now he is a little short. However, he is making progress.

Travis Wilson may be the best physical specimen ever at receiver, and that means better than Mark Bradley. He is 226 and runs a 10.35 100 meters. Wow. Plus, he doesn't have an ounce of fat on him. He is competitive and loves to find the end zone.

All three quarterbacks have stepped up thus far in the skelly (7-on-7) drills. All three have taken charge and all three are throwing the ball well. They are alternating reps, but going five at a time so they can try to get into a rhythem. The defense is throwing several different coverages at them to try to confuse them and also to help them learn.

The young wide receivers are slow in coming, as right now they are slowly being worked into skelly drills. The quicker they learn the offense the more reps they will get. Actually, the older guys want them to get more reps because they are tired of running.

Linebacker Rufus Alexander has taken a great leadership role on defense. He calls a number of the guys and gets them to skelly drills and certainly hollers at the linebackers.

Freshman defensive back Reggie Smith is stronger than anybody thought. Before arriving at OU, he was considered a speed guy and a gifted skill athlete, but he has been impressive in the weight room proving that he is stronger than anybody thought. Don't rule out Mr. Smith of anything. He is a quiet competitor that doesn't say much and keeps his emotions to himself, but he is a tremendous athlete and competitor. Nic Harris is a workout jewel and continues to impress, as does Keenan Clayton.

Another great surprise is cornerback Brian Jackson, who is a fantastic athlete with 4.48 speed at 210 pounds.

Ben Barresi is a very hard worker and is very good in the weight room. This guy wants to play and many times on the OL, attitude will get you an opportunity. He is a better athlete than most people think.

The more people watch wide receiver Manuel Johnson the more people think he is going to be great. He gets compared to Mark Clayton a lot because he can make people miss and he does have some of those similiarities.

Wide receiver Quentin Chaney had minor shoulder surgery and he is liminited what he can do right now. However, he will be ready by two-a-days.

Eric Huggins is very fast and runs well. He is just now getting into the flow of things at OU, but there is no question about his athletic ability.

This freshman class is the most impressive freshman class yet under Bob Stoops. It is not just their athletic ability, but their intelligence and desire to be good.

Curtis Lofton is your prototypical middle linebacker. However, he will really have to put on a show to move Zach Latimer out of a starting spot. Latimer is a good downhill linebacker, and he wants it bad. His time has come and he is having his best offseason.

Clint Ingram is a monster in the offseason and it is paying off on the field. He is another leader on defense along with Eric Bassey. I know that Bassey has made some mistakes in game, but OU fans should love this guy. He is one of the hardest workers on the team, and if it wasn't for Bassey there wouldn't be a complete secondary in some skelly drills. I for one hope this is his year that the plays up to his abilities.

I think Chijioke Onyenegecha is gonig to start at the short corner spot with Walker at the wide side, but Bassey will still play a key role as a reserve. And on special teams, OU needs him to be solid this year.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories