Wednesday's Post-Practice Notebook

See inside for the latest on several players and key position battles following Wednesday's practice.

OU head coach Bob Stoops said that right now the freshmen that will play this year are tight end Jermaine Gresham, receivers Adron Tennell and Brandon Caleb and linemen Chase Beeler and Trent Williams.

He said that Dominique Franks looks great in camp, but OU is deep at corner and he may not play this year. Stoops also said that at some point in camp they would also look at him at safety. He didn't say he was going to move him to safety, but said that the coaches wanted to see what he looked like at safety so in the next couple of weeks they would give him a day or two at safety.

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Defensive coordinator Brent Venables said that defensive tackle Gerald McCoy might play this year. Venables said he is playing much better now in camp than he did earlier, but he is still making some technical mistakes. However, Stoops says that he is very talented and may be too good to redshirt.

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Kicker Garrett Hartley has a sore leg and he has been rested this week. I asked coach Stoops if he was OK and he said they will start kicking him again on Friday. I asked who the back-up kicker was and he said 'nobody' and that Hartley was their kicker. Derrick Shaw has won the deep snapper job.

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Matt Clapp will be the starting fullback against UAB.

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Curtis Lofton is competiting very hard at the linebacker position and he is in the mix at both middle linebacker and strongside. Demarrio Pleasant has returned to practice, but is only going at 85 percent after suffering a hip muscle problem. Venables said this may be a year where Rufus Alexander plays all the time at weakside linebacker, but that Zach Latimer, Pleasant and Lofton all rotate at middle linebacker and strongside linebacker with Lofton playing both positions.

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Nic Harris is working almost exclusively at the nickel giving freshman Quinton Carter a ton of work with the number two's at free safety. Bobby Jack Wright is still considering redshirting Carter, but he is going to be a great player and he is playing well enough to contribute. However, junior Darien Williams is having a great camp and will get the majority of reps at free safety this year.

Wright also said most of the two-deep in the secondary will play special teams.

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Wide receiver Manuel Johnson is questionable for the UAB game with a bad ankle. If they played today, Fred Strong would start along with Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias in a three-wide receiver set. But don't count out Adron Tennell at this point. Reggie Smith was also praised as a pass receiver by both coach Stoops and Paul Thompson.


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