Tuesday Morning Practice Report

Sooner kickers the focus once again plus much, much more from the freshmen's morning workout

Just 24 hours after an very eventful opening day of freshmen workouts at OU, it was business as usual Tuesday morning at the Intramural practice fields.

The Sooner freshmen worked out for the third time in shorts and shoulder pads for two hours this morning.

After the Sooners stretched to begin practice, about 50 Sooner fans huddled up behind and around the goal post on the South practice field to watch the OU kickers attempt extra points against a live defense.

Junior college All-American Steve Sarubbi was first and he hit a perfect 3-for-3. Up next was walk-on Pete Cuva, who connected on two of his three attempts. And last but not least was the Sooners newest kicker - Trey DiCarlo - who proceded to hit all three of his attempts.

After the drill was over Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops trotted from about the 40-yard line to the back of the end zone and told the spectators, 'Who says we have kicking problems? What did we make, all but one?'

Stoops then commented to the bevy of onlookers, 'Tell Al (Eschbach) he needs to come out and watch practice sometime.'

The crowd laughed, but Stoops sounded serious. Apparently he was miffed by the local sports radio talks show hosts' comments on the air last night that the Sooners' kicking game was in trouble without Josh Roberts.

We got our second look at DiCarlo today and he by far has the strongest leg of the trio of kickers. And DiCarlo appears to be just as accurate as Sarubbi - who appeared to be the most accurate kicker Monday morning.

DiCarlo was hitting his kicks consistently from 35-yards out and continued to hit them with room to spare when instructed by Stoops to move the tee's back seven yards. Sarubbi hit three of his five attempts from 42-yards out, but didn't have much room to spare on the one's he made.

And if yesterday's game of 'musical kickers' wasn't enough, the buzz around camp this morning was that the Sooners will be brining in yet another walk-on kicker this afternoon to compete for the job. James will have more on this later this afternoon.

Other then the buzz about OU's kicking game, Tuesday's morning practice was mostly a coaching session with the newcomers.

Rufus Alexander seems to be getting a lot of coaching from Mike Stoops working at Roy Williams' departed safety position. Alexander looks like a linebacker and is clearly the Sooners biggest defensive back and seems to still be honing his coverage skills.

On a one-on-one drill against the wide receivers, Alexander was burned twice on slant routes ran by JeJuan Rankins and Travis Wilson. But to Alexander's credit, Wilson and Rankins pretty much had their way with OU's defensive backs in the one-on-one and pass skell drills.

Wilson is a big, strong receiver and Rankins is very smooth and quick running his routes. Rankins also appears to have seperated himself from DaBryan Blanton as the top freshmen punt returner. It's still early but Rankins takes most of the kicks (throws from Cale Gundy) during the punt team drills and looks very smooth doing it. Blanton continued to work with Darrell Wyatt on the sidelines on catching the ball during the team punt drills. Blanton was also held out of several skel drills because of a minor hamstring pull.

During the pass skel drills, Paul Thompson hooked up on a beautiful 30-yard out route to Travis Wilson, who beat Michael Hawkins. Both of OU's quarterbacks were very accurate throwing the ball today during the pass skel drills.

Tight End Leanar Nixon looked very good catching the ball over the middle, but bobbled a pass on a sideline route on one play that was picked off by the OU defense.

Overall, there was much more coaching then action this morning. Expect things to pick up this week when the varsity reports.

The freshmen will workout out again today at 4:30 pm.

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