NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 1: Running back Dominique Whaley #8 of the Oklahoma Sooners rushes up field during the first half against the Ball State Cardinals on October 1, 2011 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Ball State 62-6. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
According to The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey and his latest blog post, Sooner Nation may be looking at some good news on the recovery of Dom Whaley from that gruesome ankle injury he suffered last year against Kansas State.
I heard Whaley was playing a "fairly intense" game of pickup basketball Sunday. The person who told me said Whaley was "running up and down the floor pretty well. Maybe had a little hitch in his step, but seemed like his normal running motion."
Kersey also had another quote from Stoops from on Whaley from earlier this summer.
The last time I talked to coach Bob Stoops, which was in early June at the Sooner Caravan in Plano, Texas, he said Whaley's status was still to be determined.
"I saw him walking through the hall today with his shirt off, and he looked like he should go back to the Roman days of a man sculpted out of stone," Stoops said then. "But I haven't watched him run, so we'll see. It's an unknown."
It's very likely to take Whaley some time to regain that confidence in his leg again and while the reports of him playing basketball are a good thing, it's certainly different from guys in pads diving full speed at your knees/ankles. He has the advantage, of not being 300+ pounds, that Adrian Taylor did not but a big part of his game was his balance so it will be key for him to respond well once he starts getting that contact in practice and games.
Regardless, any positive news on Whaley is a good thing both for him personally and his future on the football field and for OU fans who quickly adopted the now former walk-on as one of their own.