Monday 8/12 Morning Practice Report

Wilkerson returns; White takes charge; Stoops pleased with OL and much, much more...

Thunderstorms in the Norman area forced the Oklahoma football team to push back the start of Monday's first session 30 minutes, but the light drizzle and soggy field didn't hamper the Sooners from working in a solid two-hour practice Monday morning.

The Oklahoma coaches seemed to take on a different persona today as they were very vocal and aggressive today in coaching the players.

They stressed fundamentals and didn't hesitate to send any of the varsity to the scout team for busted assignments. Will Peoples, among others, felt the wrath of Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops and spent short stints working with the scout team.

Despite the vocal and aggressive approach to today's workout, Stoops was pleased with the overall effort. "We're progressing like we're supposed to," said Stoops. "The guys know what they're doing for the most part. Today, we put in more offense and they handled things pretty well."

Jason White continues to get the reps as the first team quarterback while Nate Hybl took all his snaps with the second team. It is apparent more and more every day that White is going to be the Sooners' starting quarterback.

It's also apparent the OU coaches are really working with Hybl in an attempt to keep him in good spirits and his hopes up in the event he will get a chance to be a factor on this football team at some point this season.

Say what you want about Nate Hybl, but the guy is a competitor. He didn't have the best practice throwing the ball and is starting to look frustrated at times working with the second team.

Hybl badly overthrew receivers on several instances, inlcuding a wide open Brandon Jones on a deep route, while White feasted on a collection of short 15- and 20-yard pass routes. At one point, White was 9-for-9 in the skelly drills. White hooked up with Lance Donley for the play of the day. White showed his knee was just fine when he scrambled and hit a diving Donely for a nice gain. Hybl also hit freshemen tight end Leanar Nixon on a nice 60-yard connection.

According to Bob Stoops, one of the brightest spots this spring has been the offensive line. Kevin Wilson might have been the only OU assistant not chewing out a player from his unit on every play. Wilson seemed very pleased and encouraged with the effort of his group during the skelly drills.

"I think it's been one of the most pleasant parts of the camp," said Stoops. "I like what I see out of them thus far. They continue to make progrss and win battles."

Oklahoma continues to mix and match players in the secondary between their "Eagle" and "Dime" defenses. In the "Eagle", the Sooners start three linebackers — Teddy Lehman, Lance Mitchell and Pasha Jackson — along with Derrick Strait and Andre Woolfolk at the corners and Brandon Everage and Eric Bassey at the safties. In the dime, OU pulls out Jackson and Antonio Perkins takes over at safety while Bassey slips into the postion departed by Roy Williams.

Both Lehman and Mitchell continued to have impressive practices today while Jackson busted several coverages and drew the fury of Mike Stoops and Brent Venables.

Travis Wilson is making his bid to see playing time as a true freshmen and spent most of the day working with the varsity receiver group. JeJuan Rankins saw a brief stint with the varsity after Peoples was demoted to the scout team.

Junior defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson returned to practice today after battling the heat last weekend and was unblockable in the one-on-one drill against OU's offensive lineman.

Bob Stoops commented again to the media today that he is not worried about the Sooners' kicking situation. Stoops said that the OU kickers had a special session yesterday and hit 28 of their 30 attempts.

"Yesterday, we worked on special teams a bunch and the guys kicked the ball well," said Stoops. "I think we're gong to be fine."

Carrollton walk-on Trey DiCarlo may be making his push to become the front-runner for the starting kicking duties. DiCarlo cleary has the strongest leg of the kickers and is the most accurate. DiCarlo also routinely booms his kickoffs into the endzone.

On the injury front, redshirt freshmen offensive lineman Chris Bush was carted off the field this morning after being kicked in the leg during the one-on-one drills against the offensive lineman. His status for the afternoon practice has not been determined yet.

OU had a couple of players suffer from heat related issues last weekend and that has forced them to move all of their strength and conditioning wokouts inside. The Sooners had weights set up on the practice fields during earlier practices.

"We're picking our spots to get our weight lifting in and we're trying to not lift in the heat," said Stoops.

The Sooners will work out again this evening on the Intramural practice fields.

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