Stills Breaks Into Lineup

Ever since his strong spring showing, the Sooners have had high expectations for freshman wide receiver Kenny Stills as the one that could possibly step in as the No. 2 receiver behind star slot receiver Ryan Broyles.

And if the first few days of fall camp are any indication, Stills is fully prepared to take on that role.

He has progressed in ways completely ahead of normal freshmen going into a season and has an impressive skill set at the receiver position.

"He's just shown to be pretty mature in a lot of ways," said wide receivers coach Jay Norvell . "He's still young in a lot of ways, too, but he's really handled himself pretty calmly and [been] pretty composed so far."

And Stills is unique from the standpoint that he already seems to grasp the concept of what he has to do to perform at a winning level at the position.

"You know, he understands the working element, the pressure of things you try to get done," Norvell said. "And he's doing the extra work right now, which is important. But he's been good. Some guys don't overreact when they get, you know, somebody yells at them or barks at them, and Kenny's kind of that way. He's just kind of like, ‘Okay, I'll do the next thing,' but he's done a good job so far."

Something else that stands him out from the crowd is his already polished game IQ.

"Yeah, he just is very mature athletically and football wise," Norvell said. "I mean, he understands the game, and he adjusts well. With some guys, you just put them in certain situations, and they know what to do, and Kenny's kind of that way. He really understands football. He's got a good football mind. He came here with a really good understanding, and now he's just trying to [bring] that and apply it to our football."

Stills had one of his first good chances to do that this fall the other day in the "Oklahoma" drill, a one-v-one session between the receivers and defensive backs.

"You know, you feel like--today we got the Oklahoma drill going and that got pretty fired up and got pretty intense--so you know you just feel like people go out there and start moving a lot faster, a lot harder because they know the pads are on and people are coming for them," Stills said after practice session.

And apparently there were a lot of positives to pull from it for Stills.

"He held up pretty good in that drill," Norvell said. "And that's a pretty good drill for playing football in the fall, you know, and he's much stronger than he was in the spring, which will really help him this fall."

As for Stills' mindset, he's just focused on a couple of things.

The first is consistency.

"Like I said, I'm just trying to be consistent out there," Stills said. "It's hard to go out and, you know, like you said, to go out there and get down on yourself. We try to just move on to the next play, and that's what I've been taught since day one, so that's what [I do.]"

The other is upping the ante in competitiveness among the receiving corps.

"Yeah, you know, I feel like last year there wasn't as much competition, and maybe that's why things were the way they were," Stills said. "And now that guys in here come in and [are] trying to play hard that everybody's stepping up their game. And that's the whole team."

And with that, Stills is set to really impact this group and very likely slide into that No. 2 spot behind Broyles that the Sooners hope he will.

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