Spring Football: Dates, Number Changes & Position Battles

Spring football starts in less than two weeks and just incase you've been too caught up in the basketball to notice (yes, I'm aware of how strange that sounds) here are a few things that you should be aware of.

2009 OU Football Spring Schedule

 03/03  Practice No. 1 (No Pads)
 03/05  Practice No. 2 (No Pads)
 03/07  Practice No. 3
 03/10  Practice No. 4 (+Pro Day)
 03/12  Scrimmage No. 1
 03/25  Practice No. 6
 03/27  Practice No. 7
 03/28  Scrimmage No. 2
 03/31  Practice No. 9
 04/02  Practice No. 10
 04/03  Practice No. 11
 04/06  Practice No. 12
 04/08  Practice No. 13
 04/10  Practice No. 14 (No Pads)
 04/11  2009 Spring Game

Practice starts on March 3rd and the Sooners have three scrimmages on the schedule highlighted by the spring game on April 11th.  In total Oklahoma will have 15 practices, including the scrimmages, and there are a few storylines to keep up with.

Kicking Game

There is no need to rehash the kicking game woes from last season. Jimmy Stevens, Matt Moreland and Tress Way will battle it out to be the frontrunner as Oklahoma's place kicker going into the summer. Lost in the mix is the fact that Mike Knall was a senior and OU is heading into the spring without an experienced punter.

Way has the ability to handle punting responsibilities but the wild card in the kicking game is going to be incoming JUCO transfer receiver Cameron Kenny. In addition to being a standout receiver Kenny also made 8 of 9 field goal attempts last season at Garden City and averaged 47 yards per punt. Can you imagine the various wrinkles the Sooners can throw in with one of their top receivers lined up as the kicker?

Defensive Backfield

Dominique Franks and Brian Jackson both return on the edges but the safety positions are empty due to graduation. Quinton Carter and Desmond Jackson are the frontrunners to take over the safety spots but don't look for it to be settled until summer ball.

Receiver

Cameron Kenny won't be on campus until this summer so Ryan Broyles, Brandon Caleb, Dejuan Miller and Jameel Owens will all have a chance to step up and make an impact. Also, look for the beginning stages of Mossis Madu's transition from running back to the slot.

Offensive Line

Trent Williams returns as Oklahoma's only starter on the offensive line. Look for Cory Brandon, Ben Habern, Brian Simmons, Jason Hannan, Alex Williams, Stephen Good, Donald Stephenson and Alex Williams to battle it out for four open spots. In my opinion this is the most crucial storyline to follow this spring.

Number Changes

If you plan on attending one of the open practices or going to a scrimmage you might want to take note that there have been a few number changes along with some new guys enrolling early.

Returner  New Number  Old
 Dominique Franks (DB)  No. 1  15
 Ryan Reynolds (LB)  No. 4  8
 Joseph Ibiloye (DB)  No. 5  41
 Ben Sherrard (QB)  No. 10  6
 Corey Wilson (WR)  No. 13  11
 Lamar Harris (DB)  No. 15  19
 Turner Troup (LB)  No. 41  45
 Sean Morrison (DS)  No. 58  56
 Jarvis Jones (OL)  No. 76  75
 James Winchester (DS)  No. 86  46
 
 Newcomer  Number
 Drew Allen (QB)  No. 15
 Javon Harris (DB)  No. 30
 Tom Wort (LB)  No. 42
 Jaydan Bird (LB)  No. 55
 Ronnell Lewis (LB)  No. 56
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