Stoops Speaks After Third Spring Practice

The Sooners had their third spring practice Monday afternoon, including their first one of the season outside, and Sooners Illustrated was there for all the action.

Here's what OU head coach Bob Stoops had to say.

On if they got Ben Habern back and other guys—Well, Jarvis and all those other guys were back before the break, so just Ben is going to be doing more and more as we go through, but he did some things even before the break.

On how they have changed practice, more reps and faster pace—Well, we're just to some degree yeah, so we just got a pretty good pace, and we're getting a pretty good number of snaps really.

On how Mossis Madu has been—Mossis is doing great. He really looks like he's in great shape. He's had a great winter you can tell, really looks quick and [is] doing a lot of things really well, so he looks good.

On the secondary positions and how they are looking—Good. Those guys are all playing, you know, they're playing well. They're learning. They have their tough times, and they have their good times, but they're talented guys, and now it's their time. So, it's like we've had other guys step up. We anticipate these guys to have the ability to do it, to step up and be good, solid players.

On if Jonathan Nelson is a corner or a safety—He plays both, and yeah, he's an older guy that understands them both, has the tools and the quickness to play either, so yeah, there's no need to put him at one right now. You know, he's developing at both.

On the silver lining of the injuries last year being other people getting playing time—That's right. We got experience that hopefully will really benefit us this year. That's about the only positive thing about it for sure. Don't look for another good reason for it because other than that, there isn't any. And you want to be playing [older guys] because for the most part, those were all seniors. Most of them are experienced players that missed the time, and that's what's hard to replace, but yeah, with these guys, we've got a lot of experience that we weren't expecting to get early last year and through the whole year, so hopefully it pays off.

On if the receivers took last year personally—They should have because they were terribly inconsistent, as inconsistent of a bunch that we've had here. So, hopefully they, you know, will work harder and take more pride in it and take it personal, and hopefully they'll make some improvement. You know, they're capable guys, but again it needs to happen on the field.

On if the receivers are noticeable more mature—I believe so.

On Marcus Trice playing corner and if it's a new move—I don't know. To me, a secondary guy is a secondary guy. You guys make too much about that I think. You know, so no I don't think we did a year ago, but it's something we're looking at right now.

On if the Trice move was because of his athleticism—Yeah, you know, just trying to. Secondary guys to me you always, you know, when you have a group of eight, you try to find the five or six that make the most plays, and it doesn't matter to me where they play as long as they're capable and they make plays. And to me it's finding the top five, six guys and getting them in the spots that they can make plays at.

On if a guy is playing at safety and is making a lot of plays and the option of switching him to corner—If he has those tools to play corner. Some do. Some can't. Again, I think a lot of it's how they run, of course, and how quick they are changing their hips and those kinds of things. And, you know, so this is the time of year you experiment a little bit that way.

On John Nimmo still being at holder—Yeah. We'll see. You know, we'll work a number of guys doing that.

On if there are any walk on kickers working—Yeah, we have a few out there, so I haven't seen anything to take note of or for you to put any of their names in the paper just yet, so.

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