Practice Notes: Coaches moving players around

Senior Eric Bassey (pictured right) could start at cornerback against Kansas State.

After practice today, OU Secondary Coach Bobby Jack Wright said that he has moved senior Chijioke Onyenegecha to the boundary to compete with sophomore D.J. Wolfe for playing time. He also said that senior Eric Bassey has moved to the No. 1 field corner spot and is in competition with sophomore Marcus Walker.

Wright said that Bassey had a great practice today going 100 miles an hour, as he now realizes he has a chance to be the starter at the field corner. Walker could probably win this job, but his shoulder is a big concern at this time. Walker was able to pratice today, however it looks like Bassey is going to be the starter. Wright said he was playing very well against UCLA before he got hurt.

Wright said that Reggie Smith played an outstanding game against UCLA and has all the makings of a great safety. At free safety, Darien Williams was solid and at the moment is still the starter. However, he is getting pushed very hard by freshman Nic Harris.

Harris has improved a great deal in terms of knowing the defense, and the better he gets to know it the better off he will be at turning it loose and playing without worry. Harris still has a great chance to win the starting free safety job.

OU Running Back Coach Cale Gundy said that Allen Patrick had his first practice at running back today. He said that Patrick looked very good and the position seemed to be a natural for him. He pointed out that he has some quickness and explosion to his running ability.

Gundy said the coaches decided to make the move because Patrick wasn't going to see any playing time this year in the secondary, and because Kejuan Jones injured his ankle in Monday's practice. The injury is going to take a few days for him to get back in form. His status for Kansas State is questionable at this time.

OU Wide Receiver Coach Darrell Wyatt said after practice that he is not sure if senior Jejuan Rankins is going to be healthy enough to play against Kansas State. Rankins is running much better, but still has some pain in the ankle.

If Rankins can go he will start along with senior Travis Wilson. If he can't go, then Malcolm Kelly would get his second start. Juaquin Iglesias has moved up to the No. 1 slot receiver at this time ahead of Lendy Holmes.

If Rankins is healthy he will be the starting punt returner as well, but if not then either Reggie Smith or Nic Harris will field punts. Smith has improved at catching punts the last couple of weeks and Harris seems a natural at it. However, that won't be decided until gametime.

OU Head Coach Bob Stoops said the Sooners had a good practice today and he rewarded the team by not conditioning them after practice. Junior Paul Thompson had a good practice at receiver and worked close to an hour extra with Coach Wyatt on fundamentals after practice.

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