The Oklahoma football team held their first practice in full pads this spring for over two hours under sunny skies and very windy conditions.
The Sooners worked a lot on their offensive and defensive packages, and no-huddle situations. Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops was pleased with what he saw.
ÏWe ran just about everything we had today both offensively and defensively,Ó said Stoops.
ÏVery rarely did we have to correct a player on not knowing what to do, but just on fundamental mistakes.Ó
The windy conditions clearly effected the quarterbacks as they struggled with consistency and threw several interceptions.
Jason White started out with the first team and had both good and bad moments.
White hit Ataleo Ford for a long touchdown and also hooked up with Trent Smith on a post route for a touchdown. The junior from Tuttle also hit Brandon Jones in stride over the middle for a big pickup, but misfired on several occasions as well.
Stoops also noted after practice that the receivers have a long way to go to show the amount of improvement the coaching staff wants them to make.
Sophomore Will Peoples seems to have made the most improvement of any receiver this winter. Athletically, Peoples is one of OUÌs best receivers and that talent showed when he caught a post route from Brent Rawls for a touchdown.
Like the other quarterbacks, RawlsÌ passes were clearly bothered by the wind and he had his good and bad moments, while Nate Hybl continued to throw to the short routes on a majority of his passes.
Jerad Estus made the biggest play of the day out of the running backs, taking a handoff and breaking into the flat.
Left tackle Wes Sims was held out of practice with a sprained ankle and was replaced in the starting lineup by Jerod Fields.
Defensively, the Sooners looked to be as dominating as ever while intercepting the quarterbacks several times.
Antonio Perkins picked off two passes and Bobby Klinck, Andre Woolfolk and Eric Bassey each picked one pass.
Stoops praised his defensive backs after practice and pointed out Bassey for his performance.
ÏEric Bassey looks really good,Ó said Stoops.
ÏWeÌre really deep in the secondary, but heÌs going to be a factor for us.Ó
Perhaps the play of the day came from redshirt freshmen middle linebacker Clint Ingram. Ingram, a former basketball player, showed his athletic ability when he leaped and picked off a downfield screen.
Ingram has been very impressive in his first two practices and looks like he is going to be a good for Stoops before his career is done.
Junior College transfer Lance Mitchell worked as the first team middle linebacker today at the start of practice, but is going to get a stiff challenge from Ingram.
MitchellÌs juco teammate, Pasha Jackson, is battling redshirt Russell Dennison for the strongside linebacker spot and was getting a lot of attention today from Mike Stoops. Jackson looks to have a leg up on Dennison, but struggled some today getting in the right spot and is still learning OUÌs defense.
On the defensive line, Tommie Harris and Lynn McGruder looked flat-out imposing in full pads.
Defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson has gone through an obvious transformation over the winter. Wilkerson has bulked up while keeping his speed and is going to be a dominant, dominant force for OU this season.
Dan Cody and Jonathan Jackson both split time with the first team at the other defensive end spot. Cody also posed as the deep snapper during special team drills.
Blake Ferguson was so-so punting today and also looked affected by the wind.
Oklahoma is going to practice in full pads again tomorrow before taking Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. The Sooners will return to the practice fields next Tuesday in shorts only. They will take Wednesday off and will then practice in pads on Thursday and Friday before holding their first scrimmage on Saturday.
Spring Football: 3/27 Practice Report
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