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The Sooners completed spring drills Tuesday inside Everest Indoor Training Center. As it is every year, the focus of the 2008 edition of spring practice was on improvement and building for next season.
After six weeks of workouts that included 11 practices, two scrimmages and the annual Red/White Spring Game, running back Justin Johnson has become well-groomed with the pace of college football. "It's a lot different than high school," he stated after practice. "It was confusing at first, but as the weeks went on I started getting the offense down and started improving."
Johnson said he is looking forward to stepping out onto Owen Field for his first real game next fall, but he also knows there's a lot of work to do between now and then.
Senior Manuel Johnson can attest to that, and he said the team will use the offseason as an opportunity to come together and become stronger. "We'll go through a lot of things that will get us down, but those are the things that will help us during the season."
Along with Juaquin Iglesias and Quentin Chaney, Johnson is one of three senior receivers returning for the Sooners, and he said the group is fully intent on leaving everything they have out on the field next season. "It's our senior year, so you want to attack, go hard every day and just hope for the best."
Oklahoma will kick off the 2008 season against UT-Chattanooga on Saturday, August 30 right here in Norman.
On a day when the scoring system gave the defense nine points for a touchdown, the Oklahoma defense took full advantage during the team's annual Red/White Spring Game Saturday at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
A crowd of 23,306 looked on as three OU defenders
intercepted passes and returned them for touchdowns.
In the end, the team comprised of the first team offense
and second team defense won 69-40 under a scoring system
that awarded points for a myriad of accomplishments
ranging from long plays to forced punts.
The Sooners will hold a light practice today in advance of the annual Spring Game on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will not be televised or webcast so the only way to watch the game live will be from a seat in the stadium. Fan's Guide to Spring Game
Shae Farmer hadn't planned on being in Oklahoma this weekend, much less on the Sooner sideline. Then his wife Kimberly bought a couple Sooner t-shirts online and the weekend plans changed...
Fan Wins Opportunity to Call Plays at Spring Game
Storylines for the spring game are many, yet sometimes hard to find. Here are a few suggestions for things to watch this Saturday at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium:
A to Z Guide to the Spring Game
The Sooners returned to Everest Indoor Training Center on Tuesday to resume preparations for the annual Red/White Spring Game. View video of the defensive linemen, wide receivers and live action highlights from Tuesday's practice by clicking the links to the right.
Earlier in the day, OU announced its official scoring system for the Spring Game, devised to allow both the offensive and defensive units the ability to score. Print off the scoring guide to follow along on your own during Saturday's game.
A reminder that Friday is your last chance to purchase Spring Game tickets for half-price. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 the day of the game. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free, as are all OU students with a valid student ID.
Limited edition posters celebrating Oklahoma's championship run in the 2000s will also be distributed at the Spring Game. Rings and trophies accompany six team photos on the poster honoring Oklahoma's five Big 12 Conference titles and the 2000 National Championship. View a sneek peak of these special posters.
Oklahoma added a Friday practice date this week. The Sooners are slated to work on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before hosting fans for the Spring Game on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Spring Game tickets are $5 in advance or $10 the day of the game. Purchase online, in person at the OU Athletics Ticket Office or by phone at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU. Children 5 and under are admitted free of charge, as are all OU students with a valid student ID.
An Oklahoma team that worked out just once during the week was rusty Saturday in a scrimmage at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. OU completed a 92-play scrimmage, the last major tune-up before next Saturday's Red/White Game.
"It was just OK," said Stoops, who postponed
two practice during the week to allow a few injured
players time to heal and return to playing form. "We
practiced only once all week and it showed. We weren't
too sharp and there were way too many penalties.
The Sooners resumed spring football with an afternoon practice on Thursday inside the stadium. View video of the quarterbacks, receivers, secondary and special teams using the links to the right.
OU's second open scrimmage is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Please monitor this site for official information from the OU Athletics Department.
Tickets for the 2008 Spring Game are now on sale. The game is set for April 12 with a tentative kickoff time of 1 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 the day of the game. Purchase online, in person at the Athletics Ticket Office or by phone at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-GoOU. Children 5 and under are admitted free of charge, as are all OU students with a valid student ID.
This is your chance to bid on the ultimate Sooner football experience for the 2008 Spring Game on Saturday, April 12. One lucky OU fan and a guest will win the opportunity to put on the headsets with the Oklahoma coaching staff and call a series of plays from the sidelines.
In addition, your experience will include meeting Coach Stoops, the football staff and members of the team, as well as watching the entire Spring Game from the Sooner bench. Learn more...
Oklahoma completed its first major scrimmage of the spring with an 81-play workout Saturday at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Sooner head coach Bob Stoops noted that several standouts did not participate, but still liked the overall effort.
It was tough-sledding for the offense for much of the day with 294 total yards and no touchdowns, but Stoops laid most of that on practice repetition.
"We go so much against each other. Our defense sees them everyday. They should stop them. If we're going to be any good at all, (the offense) should have a hard time moving it."
Keenan Clayton's move to linebacker seemed to be going well as he had six tackles. "Keenan's doing a nice job," said Stoops. "He still has a ways to go, but he's shown some great signs. He's an athletic, solid player and he's starting to show that." View a complete scrimmage recap and statistics here.
Oklahoma's volatile March weather took a turn back to winter on Friday and sent the Sooners inside the Everest Training Facility for the seventh practice of spring ball. Several hundred high school coaches from across the country were in Norman for OU's annual coaches' clinic.
The Sooners will hold their first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday at Owen Field. Offensive tackle Trent Williams expects a good show. "Personally, from seeing all the competition at practice -- up front, at wide receiver and DB -- I think it's going to be a good scrimmage," Williams said.
A good show would have been the 309-pound junior from Longview displaying some moves from his African Dance class this spring but Williams demurred. Of course, smooth footwork should be a natural for the o-lineman.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Lamont Robinson discussed the ever-important inch in the game of football. "There are so many games that come down to inches in a play here or there. It's those little things that make the difference in a season," Robinson said. "Every inch matters."
Oklahoma notched its sixth spring practice on Wednesday afternoon at Owen Field. Once again decked in full pads, the Sooners went right to work with offense battling defense in various yardage situations including third-and-short and goal-line.
Players and coaches kept an eye on the white board positioned behind the huddle as equipment director Brad Camp marked "wins" for each side in the series.
After practice, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson compared Wednesday's session with the first day back from spring break on Monday: "They had a more competitive spirit, a lot of toughness out there -- guys were flying around," said Wilson. "Our tempo was better so we made a nice step today."
Spring ball provides ample opportunities for younger players looking to take that next step. Sophomore Brandon Crow, working at middle linebacker, shared his view of what Coach Venables is looking for in the box: "You've got to be a take-charge guy," offered Crow. "You've got to make the calls up front and be physical to take on the tackles and guards."
Senior corner Lendy Holmes underlined the importance of live action during spring ball for the younger players. "That's why we're out here, so they can see how Saturdays go." Asked which of the younger guys were making an impression, Holmes didn't hesitate: "From the freshmen, Sam Proctor and Desmond Jackson. Once they learn and start processing everything, they'll be good players."
The OU Athletics Department today released information that will help those fans planning on being in Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium for the two open scrimmages. The March 29 scrimmage will begin at 11 a.m., with the April 5 event set for 1 p.m. View complete information here.
After 12 days off and with spring break behind them, the Sooners resumed spring practice in full pads Monday on Owen Field and wasted no time getting right back to full speed.
With a wealth of experience returning for the 2008 season, OU's defensive line is expected to be one of its biggest strengths. Six of the eight players on the two-deep are back in the mix.
Senior Cory Bennett is one of the leaders of the group. Battle tested with three years under his belt, Bennett is determined to leave his stamp on the program by setting a positive example for the younger guys. "You want to leave that legacy where the guys behind you look and say, 'I have to play at his level or better,'" he said.
Improvement is the main area of emphasis during spring drills, especially for those who haven't gotten a lot of reps. Jeremy Beal, one of Oklahoma's regulars at the defensive end position, has seen significant progress across the board. "All of the younger guys are making strides to get better," he stated.
Already loaded with depth and experience, the defensive line will use the next three weeks to continue to fine-tune their technique to become even more of a force next fall.
OU will hit the practice field again on Wednesday and Friday before its first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, March 29. Coach Stoops announced that the public scrimmage will begin at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.
The Sooners broke out full pads again for Wednesday's practice and worked inside the stadium on the warmest day since the start of spring ball.
With DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown out of spring drills, Matt Clapp is garnering plenty of reps in the backfield. To any observer of practice, it's obvious the junior fullback from Phoenix relishes contact and defenders better bring their lunchbox if they intend to stop the 231-pound bruiser.
"At fullback, you've got to be a physical guy," Clapp said. "You've got to be the type of guy who loves to deliver the hit."
Sophomore running back Mossis Madu is sharing carries with Clapp this spring and aims to establish himself as a valuable addition to the Sooner ground attack. A star for Norman High, Madu is eager to showcase his skills on Owen Field.
"I want to go out there and prove that I'm here for a reason," Madu said. "That's what I'm trying to do right now. I feel like I'm as good as everyone else and they can depend on me to run the ball."
Wednesday's practice was Oklahoma's final workout until March 24 as OU observes spring break.
Fourteen former Sooners were on display for scouts from more than 20 National Football League franchises during OU's annual Pro Day held Tuesday morning at the Everest Training Facility.
View photos as the players are measured, weighed and drilled in the vertical jump, short and long shuttle, broad jump, three-cone and 40-yard dash. Complete results are available here with extensive video coverage by clicking the links to the right.
Oklahoma moved outside for the first time during spring practice on Monday afternoon. The Sooners worked on Owen Field in full pads under cool but sunny conditions in Norman.
It's a big spring for several players battling for a starting role come September. All eyes are on the linebackers where redshirt freshman Austin Box is working to nail down the outside "will" position. The Enid, Okla., product is athletically suited for the role.
"You have to fly around and utilize your speed," Box said. "That's something I'm used to and that's where I'm at my best."
Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables will again work his magic this spring with the goal of solidifying an area that lost senior starter Lewis Baker to graduation and junior Curtis Lofton to the NFL.
"(The linebackers) have a terrific attitude," Venables offered. "They have a great approach and are a selfless group of guys."
The Sooners will look to Ryan Reynolds to bring some much-needed experience to the heart of the defense in 2008. The junior from Las Vegas has shifted to the middle linebacker position during spring ball.
"We realize we lost a lot of guys," admitted Reynolds. "Not many of us played or started last year but we're taking that as a challenge. We're all looking to step up."
The Sooners return to practice on Wednesday afternoon. It will mark the final session until March 24 as OU observes spring break.
The Sooners went back to work Friday afternoon inside Everest Indoor Facility. While the conditions were cold and blustery outside, OU turned up the heat for their second workout of the spring.
Oklahoma's offensive and defensive lines went head-to-head during the middle of practice. Watch the Sooners battle in the trenches, along with other highlights from Friday.
Defensive ends coach Chris Wilson was excited with the competitiveness of the day's drills. "The tempo was there, the excitement was there and we had a lot of energy," he said.
Follow Coach Patton as he puts the offensive linemen through a series of drills emphasizing technique. Prior to practice, Oklahoma equipment manager Dillon Pratt offered an inside look.
Finally, we caught up with seniors Duke Robinson and Phil Loadholt after practice to discuss OU's depth and experience up front. The anchors of the left side, who also are roommates, shared some laughs about their lives away from football as well.
View football winter conditioning results listing leaders at each position in each category. The Sooners return to practice on Friday. Do you have a question for an OU coach or player? Email us your question and we'll get a response to post during spring practice. Be sure to include your first name and hometown.
Oklahoma held its first practice of spring football on Wednesday afternoon at the Everest Indoor Facility. Three true freshmen -- QB Landry Jones, OL Britt Mitchell and RB Justin Johnson -- joined wide receivers coach Jay Norvell in their first practice as Sooners. View video highlights and reaction from the newcomers by clicking the video links to the right.
Junior corner Brian Jackson took time after practice to discuss his first session and garner accolades from the head coach. "He got his hands on more balls today than maybe any corner we've had in the past six or seven years," said Stoops.
Another junior, Keenan Clayton, discussed his transition from the secondary to linebacker: "The hardest part is going to be playing over a tight end and using hands and face on the linemen. You know, at DB, you hardly ever have to do that."
Finally, go in-depth with the wide receivers on Wednesday and learn more about the drills Coach Norvell runs in practice to improve ball security and leverage. Oklahoma equipment manager Freddie Lovett breaks it all down for Sooner fans.
Head coach Bob Stoops led off the 2008 spring season with a noon press conference Tuesday in the Kerr-McGee Stadium Club. Stoops addressed a variety of topics and answered questions from the media relating to OU's goals for spring practice. Read Quotes | View Video
|2008 Spring Practice|
Jason Matheson and Tory Kukowski of OU Athletics Internet Services will post practice reports, video features, photo galleries and more during 2008 spring football practice direct from Norman. All OU spring practices are closed. Scrimmages on Saturday, March 29, and Saturday, April 5, are scheduled to be open to the public. The 2008 spring game is slated for Saturday, April 12. All times and dates are subject to change. Please monitor SoonerSports.com for the latest official information from the OU Athletics Department.