|| Depth Building At Defensive End
Coming into preseason camp last Friday, seniors David King and R.J. Washington were the clear-cut starters at defensive end for the Sooners.
It's who will play a role behind them and spot the two veterans breathers that has generated curiosity. Although OU is less than a week in, the staff is starting to get a better idea.
"Chuka (Ndulue) has probably separated himself from the rest of the pack," assistant head coach Bobby Jack Wright said. "Chuka is a solid third guy."
Ndulue saw action in seven games last season, recording three tackles as a redshirt freshman. With the opportunity for more playing time ahead, he's zoned in.
"Being consistent, being focused in the game and not thinking about anything else," Ndulue cited as his keys going forward. "Not doing too much or more than I'm asked too. Be consistent and do what Coach tells me what to do."
Freshmen Mike Onuoha and Charles Tapper have shown potential in less than 10 practices and are physically ready according to Wright. One of the veterans has also taken notice.
"They're raw because this is a different level of football, but they have advantages," King said. "(Mike) has extremely long arms and Charles is just big. Once we get into week two or week three, they'll make progression. They're doing good right now for how long they've been here. They'll be good. Watch out for them."
Wright also noted P.L. Lindley and Rashod Favors as two that are "really starting to come on."
Overall, the unit is shaping up to be a strong one for OU.
"They're doing great," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "We feel like that's solidifying itself and as we move forward, I think it's only going to get stronger."
|| Colvin Returns To Corner
Although junior defensive back Aaron Colvin will do whatever is best for the Sooners - he's proven so, playing cornerback as a freshman and strong safety as a sophomore - he's happy to be back to his original position.
"It feels good," Colvin said. "I have a lot more confidence this year. It's so natural to me. Every little move is just natural for me at corner. I feel like that is where I am best at, but if they need me to go back to safety, I can do that too."
Colvin missed the spring with a shoulder injury, but noted that the transition back to corner has been seamless for him.
"There are some things that you always have to work on at corner, playing man," Colvin said. "You have to be able to stay in front of the receivers, but going back to corner has been really easy for me."
Regardless of where Colvin is in the secondary, with 13 career starts under his belt, he's embraced more of a leadership role.
"I feel like I have to show the young guys what we do here," Colvin said. "To be out there at corner on an island, you really have to show them you can play. Really getting older, playing a lot more and having a lot of experience, you have to step up and be a leader."
|| Receivers Heading in Right Direction
Bolstered by the addition of senior wideout Justin Brown this week, Oklahoma's young, but talented receiving corps is beginning to take shape.
"It went from everybody wondering to all of a sudden, it has a chance to be pretty good," head coach Bob Stoops said.
"We're not there yet, but we're heading that direction."
It helps to have a quarterback who has started 37 games at working with those young receivers. It also helps when that same QB is impressed with his new targets.
"They have a lot of ability, a lot of athletic ability," senior Landry Jones said. "It's a natural catch for most of them. I'm excited to see them progress through camp with our coaches being there and them really getting into the offense."
The early signs are positive, and it will be critical for OU's offense for that to become a trend moving forward.
"I like the competitiveness, I like the toughness, I like the attention to detail, the way they walk into the building and their approach to every day," co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. "If they can continue on that path we have a chance for a lot of young talent to help us this fall."
Coach Bobby Jack Wright
"I don't know that I was necessarily disappointed. I've been here 14 years and I'm for whatever is best for this football team. If (Geneo Grissom) can get on the field over there on that side, I'm not disappointed. I'm thrilled for him and thrilled for the football team. We are here as a staff to put the best guys that we can on that football field."
Junior WR Kenny Stills
"Sterling [Shepard] is just a natural playmaker I feel like. There are a lot of things that he does that I feel like when I came in, I still hadn't learned, like setting people up on their routes and hand positioning. Just different things that he does recognize come very natural to him compared to some other newcomers. I feel like that's what separates him from all the other guys."
Senior DE David King
"Chuka has been doing a good job. He's a young guy that got into games last year. He did well as you all saw. He's progressing and he'll definitely be in the rotation this year."
Junior RB Brennan Clay
"We all know (Roy Finch) can play slot. He's a little sneaky. He can get open, make plays and catch the ball. I'm excited to see him there."
Junior DB Tony Jefferson
"You want to go into the season and improve. I think that's what we are doing right now, just trying to improve the mistakes we made last year. That's all part of being focused and having a different attitude. Coming off a three-loss season when you felt you should have been undefeated, that hurts you inside. It gives you perspective on what you want to change."
Coach Mike Stoops
"We've had good leadership out there from a lot of the guys. We need to continue to get better, but they're all working hard. In camp, every day is a struggle mentally and physically to get out there and push yourself. We need every player to do that for us to be a stronger, tougher football team."
Oklahoma has four scheduled two-a-days throughout preseason camp, starting with Wednesday. Here are videos from this morning's practice:
DEs on Explosion, Pad Level
RBs Work on Read Routes
DBs Lock Down Receivers
THE LATEST WITH R.J.
Senior DE R.J. Washington on his jersey number switch, the fallacy of Titanic and more:
R.J. Washington Video Series
24 DAYS TO KICKOFF!
In Oklahoma's eight wins over Texas under head coach Bob Stoops, the Sooners' average margin of victory is 24.
MIC'D UP FEATURES
In case you missed it, SoonerVision has produced a pair of features this week with a mic on an individual player throughout practice. Look out for Wednesday's Mic'd up with fullback Trey Millard:
Junior OL Gabe Ikard (8/6)
Junior LB Tom Wort (8/7)
After two practices without pads, WR Justin Brown will be able to strap on shoulder pads for Wednesday evening's session.
FOLLOWING THE SOONERS
Want the latest on Oklahoma football as fast as you can get it? SoonerSports.com has you covered 24/7. To catch up on the 2012 preseason, check out the links below and follow us on Twitter.
Preseason Practice Central
Sooner Football Notebook