With the happenings in and around the Switzer Center on 24/7 lockdown, there isn't a wealth of knowledge to be had with respect to Oklahoma's first three spring practices. That said, we've managed -- through other sites, radio reports, social media, and other various sources -- to gather what little information is available and present it here to you.
First, a couple quick reminders. The team is off Wednesday as OU will be hosting their annual Pro Day event for a number of former players. Those players expected to take part include: Jaydan Bird, Justin Brown, Mark Clayton, Daniel Franklin, Javon Harris, Lamar Harris, Demontre Hurst, Joseph Ibiloye, Brian Jackson, Tony Jefferson, Lane Johnson, Landry Jones, David King, Jamarkus McFarland, Stacy McGee, Patrick O'Hara, Sam Proctor, Kenny Stills, Reggie Smith, Casey Walker, R.J. Washington, Tress Way, Dominique Whaley, James Winchester, and Tom Wort.
The team will be back in action on Thursday as they'll hold their first scrimmage of the spring. Generally, guys like Jake Trotter and Carey Murdock will be able to gather some intel from their various sources and what happens. However, that is typically premium information and we prefer to respect that around here but if there is even the tiniest revelation made available to the public we'll be sure to post it.
Now, on to the practice report.
- Through three practices, every indication thus far is that the coaches are treating this as a true quarterback competition. There had been skepticism on the part of a number of OU fans (myself included) as to whether or not that would actually happen, but so far each of the three quarterbacks has received a close to equal amount of snaps with the first team. Obviously that could change as soon as the next practice, but for now things seem to be pretty even.
- In what has to be welcome news to a lot of OU fans, Josh Heupel has definitely been working in some zone read plays into the offense. Specifically with Blake Bell and Trey Millard (!!!), but expect more to get involved as time goes on.
- Cortez Johnson has consistently been the player mentioned as one of the most impressive through the first three practices. Which is good news considering how important that starting corner spot opposite Aaron Colvin will be this year. Johnson started as a true freshman at Arizona, so no one was doubting his talent. But the players have described him as a physical defender who uses his long arms to break up passes and disrupt the receivers routes.
- Believe it or not, the coaches have been pretty complimentary of Jaz Reynolds early in practices. No one would blame you if you're skeptical as to what, if anything, he's able to contribute this year, but Oklahoma does have a need for receivers on the outside and he's proved capable in the past.
- The local media is really fawning over the work Damien Williams put in during the off-season. We've seen multiple reports about how he's transformed his body, looking leaner and stronger. If he can stay healthy this year, it could make a huge impact for this offense with him running behind an experienced offensive line.
- It sounds as though the plan is to try and have Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard on the field at the same time much more than they did last year. Whether that is via four wide receiver sets or Shepard playing some on the outside, which something they've been working on in practice.
- Again, it's still early but is seems at this point the 3-4 talk was just that, talk. Oklahoma has been practicing mostly with four down linemen and it looks like the 3-4, or 50-front, will be more of a situational thing much like when Brent Venables experimented with it a couple years ago.
That's it for now, but be sure to keep checking back for more as the spring continues to play out. We'd also encourage you to take advantage of the Fan Post section should you hear anything OU related and want to create a post of your own. As writers here we're not the only one who have an opinion on things, so whether you voice yours through a Fan Post or in the comments we're always interested to hear what you have to say.