Earlier today, Bob Stoops stepped up to the podium to address the media concerning Spring Football. Practices start this weekend as the Oklahoma Sooners begin working toward the 2014 season and hopefully complete the "Chase for Eight." With expectations around the program soaring, Stoops opens up his comments congratulation Lon Kruger and the basketball team for their accomplishments this season.
STOOPS: "We're in great shape coming into spring ball. We're going to start Saturday & Sunday with our first two practices."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014
Of course, during spring practices much attention will be focused upon the development of not only the quarterback race, but also the transition Blake Bell is making to tight end. Coach Stoops offered an update on where Bell currently stands...
STOOPS: "Blake has made a great transition to tight end. Has done a great job continuing to build strength and size. Up to about 257."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014
STOOPS: "Blake (Bell) is a tough competitive athlete. I believe he'll handle (the transition) well."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014
If depth was a concern for Bell, the pickings got a bit slimmer as Sam Grant has now been moved to an offensive tackle spot.
STOOPS on move to OT: "Sam (Grant) really has that frame. He's such a tough, strong blocker. Fits his personality too."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014
Along the offensive line, Oklahoma needs to find a replacement for the versatile Gabe Ikard. With a single game of starting experience, Ty Darlington emerges as the likely candidate.
Get the full preview of the Offensive Line heading into the Spring here at CCM.
But, getting a mention by name likely means guys are doing something right. Josiah St. John appears to have put the work in to impress the coaching staff. Look for him to work his way into the rotation throughout the season.
STOOPS: "Josiah St. John has really had a good winter. We believe he has a chance to step in at the tackle position as well."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014
Switching sides of the ball, the defense will be looking to replace a couple of players in the secondary. Stoops has already said that Julian Wilson will sit out of Spring Practice. That leaves the door wide open for a few of these youngsters to make a name for themselves.
STOOPS: "We're really excited about Ahmad Thomas and Hatari Byrd. They'll be able to come in & make a difference."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014
Are the Sooners looking to add a new wrinkle to the offense? Only time will tell...
Stoops says DL Rashod Favors could be used at fullback in certain situations.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014
# Changes (new): Alexander 1, Au. Bennett 8, A.Brown 87, Cavil 7, Grant 76, Hartsook 64, Palange 47, Smallwood 17, B. Young 24, K.J. Young 1— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 6, 2014