Beal Stepping Up for Injured Sooner

Sometimes injuries bring the opportunity for more playing time for guys who are eager to prove themselves. This happens to be the case this weekend when red-shirt freshman Jeremy Beal will step up to play for the injured Auston English.

It seems like the depth at the end position for Oklahoma defense is getting thinner and thinner as the season progresses. The Sooners lost John Williams for the season when he went down with a torn Achilles tendon in the third quarter of the Tulsa game.

Last week the bad luck continued when the Big 12's leader in sacks Auston English went down in the second quarter after suffering a hairline fracture in his leg.

The injury is not expected to be season ending as he is expected to be out one to two weeks, but it will come at a critical time as the squad is set to face two weeks of the spread offense. Coach Stoops is optimistic that there is at least a chance he will be able to come back soon.

"We are optimistic," Stoops informed the media. "I am not going to give a timetable, but we are optimistic that it won't be too long."

English may be back in time for Texas Tech, and he may not, but Jeremy Beal, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound red-shirt freshman from Creekview, Texas is ready to go ahead and step up for the injured Sooner defenders.

"It is a great opportunity," Beal said. "It's unfortunate that Auston and even John are out, but other players like me, Alan (Davis) and even Pryce (Mason) have to step up and take advantage of the opportunity."

Despite being projected as a defensive tackle by most recruiting experts he played almost exclusively as a linebacker in high school, but he does have some experience playing the end position in game situations.

"I played a little bit of end my sophomore and my senior year, so I am kind of used to the position," Beal explained. ""They are two different positions. I just need to work on getting the technique down now. Staying low and getting my hands down lower, things like that."

"I still have to think some. I am still trying to get the position down. I'm working on being able to react without thinking at all. That will make me faster out there on the field."

Beal would be paying homage to both injured Sooner defensive ends by getting his hands wrapped around the waist of the Baylor quarterback on Saturday.

"Basically, my responsibility is to get pressure on the quarterback. That is the job for all of our defensive ends."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories