SPRING REPORT: SI Talks with Offense

NORMAN, Okla. -- After practice today a number of players met with the media to discuss how it all went and obviously with the departures of some of the seniors there were some new faces to get to know.

Ben Habern:

Habern will be looked at as the player who may be the favorite right now to end up as the starting center. He has had a good off-season of work and is now up to 287 pounds after playing at 265 as a senior in high school.

He played exclusively at defensive end and right guard in high school, but he has now found his most natural fit at center for the Sooners.

"I feel like center is my most natural position," Habern confirmed. "I played at a small private school and the first time I actually played center was at the U.S. Army Bowl"

Habern greatly appreciated the time that he got to spend with outgoing center Jon Cooper who took him under his wing a little bit in 2008.

"He was a great mentor," Habern stated. "He was the best center in college football. It was great to get to learn from a guy like that."


T. Williams
Trent Williams:

As a senior along the line Trent Williams felt the sting of Stoops' offensive line challenge from this afternoon's presser more than anyone.

With the departure of Phil Loadholt, Duke Robinson, Jon Cooper and Brandon Walker they eyes and expectations are now starting to fall on the shoulders of "Big" Trent.

Williams feels that after a time of adjustment that offensive line will be just fine.

"I have never been the leader before," Williams said. "We always had those guys. It is going to be an adjustment."

The other new players that are expected to step up have big shoes to fill as the '08 line cleared the way for a record setting offense.

Brandon Caleb:

Caleb has been a player that the coaches have used in a couple of different spots in his time in the program, but after the departure of Juaquin Iglesias he admitted that he understood that now was a good time to step up to the plate and make the most opportunity as possible with a chance to earn some playing time in 2009.

Caleb also explained that he felt good in the first day of workouts and that he was excited to be back out there at practice.

Coming from Fork Union Military Academy you could assume that Caleb is a guy who is used to working hard in practice and he looked very fresh coming in to the interview room after the workouts.

DeJuan Miller:

With his great frame Miller can be a player that really has a chance to shine in 2009 and he feels like he did get some good reps in '08 despite the fact he had to nurse an ankle injury, an injury he sustained in fall camp.

Fellow sophomore to be Jameel Owens is also pushing for time, but like Miller he has sustained an ankle injury at an unfortunate time.

"It was me out with an ankle and now it happened to him with the ankle and he is in a boot," said Miller who also reported that he felt 100 percent healthy to start off the spring.

Miller is a guy that feels like he can stretch the field and do some great things in the vertical passing game, but wants to work on what he does with the ball after the catch and he believes that could help him become an even better player.

"Coach Norvell keeps talking to me about YAC and what to do with the ball after the catch," Miller said. "I am just going to keep working hard."

Jarvis Jones:

Jones was an interesting player to talk to because not much had been heard from him since his departure from LSU to OU.

Interestingly he pointed out that his original decision came down to the Tigers and the Sooners and he opted for the Tigers the first time around, but he is happy that he is a now at OU.

"It came down to OU and LSU," Jones said. "It was real, real close."

Jones did not want to get in to the specifics of why it did not work out at for him in Baton Rouge and took some of the responsibility on his own shoulders by admitting that he was maybe having a little too much fun in his first year of school.

Jones, who has now been a part of two teams that played in the BCS Championship, says coming to OU has helped him get on track and he is trying to get in the mix for some playing time at right tackle.


B. Simmons
Brian Simmons:

Simmons is a player that got plenty of reps behind Duke Robinson at left guard and because of that experience he knows that he is being looked at as one of the leaders along the revamped '09 line and after hearing that coach Stoops challenged the line in his press conference this afternoon he is hoping that he can step up and lead more.

"I have always been more of a lead by example type of guy," Simmons admitted of his nature. "Hopefully we can all step up and start doing all the little things the right way."

Simmons could have made the move to right guard, but he feels pretty certain that he will be staying on the left side of the line next to Trent Williams, protecting Sam Bradford's backside.

"Yeah, it is pretty set. I think they will keep me over there with Trent. Sam Bradford is a right-handed quarterback, so I will be protecting his blind side."


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