As the Sooners conclude their second spring workout, there is a tremendous battle is talking place between the wide receivers and the defensive backs.
This is usually the case because the two units have to drill so much against one another, whether it is in skelly drills or team drills. But when you consider what is on the line with the two units, then the stakes get jacked a few notches.
In the secondary, the defensive coaches are trying to establish head-hunting safeties and secondary coach Bobby Jack Wright has moved his best DB, Reggie Smith, back to corner.
Early in camp, sophomore Quinton Carter has been outstanding and has been the talk of the camp on the defensive side of the ball. Carter is one of five players vying for a starting job at either safety spot. Carter brings a punch and tackles through ball carriers. As defensive coordinator Brent Venables said this morning on WWLS, "Quinton doesn't always know where he is going, but when the gets there you know that he is there." Quinton is not overwhelmed at all by his opportunity and so far has been super.
Another young player who is beginning to stand out is redshirt freshman Dominique Franks, who is getting a look at safety this spring after starting out his career at corner. Franks is a very intelligent football player and has learned both positions very well. He is ahead of the game mentally in the secondary and already has a great understanding of what the defense is doing in the secondary.
Franks is also very athletic and he will also bring a punch when he tackles. Then you have sophomore Brian Jackson, who until this spring has always been at corner. He was another player moved to safety this spring as Coach Wright wanted to give him a chance to make a move in the secondary. Jackson has battled minor injuries most of his career at OU, but toward the final third of last season he finally got healthy and started to play on a couple of special teams. Jackson has the ideal size and speed to play safety, and he could also be a big corner. However, right now he is probably playing his best football at OU this spring at safety.
Also not to be forgetten is Reggie Smith, who has been outstanding at corner.
At receiver, Adron Tennell continues to stand out. With Malcolm Kelly out this spring with minor knee surgery, Tennell is getting a chance to show what can do and thus far he has not disappointed. Despite going against a very talented secondary, he has been able to make some big catches. Fellow sophomore Brandon Caleb has had his moments as well a few times in camp.
Sophomore outside linebacker Ryan Reynolds has also been impressive thus far in camp, along with sophomore defensive end Auston English. Junior college linebacker transfer Mike Reed brings a very physical presence to the defense, and everybody is looking forward to putting on the pads tomorrow for the first time just to see if Reed can hit somebody.
The Sooners will start practice in the morning tomorrow as they host their second Junior Day. Also, don't be surprised if you don't see OU head coach Bob Stoops and his family at the OU Women's Basketball Teams Big 12 Tournament Championship game with Iowa State later that evening. The coach and his family are big fans and big supporters of the women's team.
To be honest, it is not going to be surprising to see any of the coaches at the Cox Center tomorrow night.
One more note...the start time for Oklahoma's March 14 scrimmage has been set for 3:45 p.m. It will be held on Owen Field and is open to the public.
Spring Football Notebook
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