|| Shead Embracing Expanded Role
With two-a-days and exhausting practices in the Oklahoma heat, the Sooners need all the sleep they can get during preseason camp.
But with Sept. 1 rapidly approaching, sophomore offensive lineman Adam Shead couldn't help staying awake a little longer recently.
"I couldn't go to sleep (Friday) night because I was so excited," Shead said. "You go through the summer, the spring and the winter, and this moment that we're about to get ready to take on at UTEP, this is what it's all for. It's a big deal."
It's an even bigger deal for Shead this year, with the Cedar Hill, Texas, native slated to start the season opener.
"It's been pretty good," Shead said of his expanded role. "To go from a two to a one, you have to step up right then and there. There's just no time to wait. We can't wait for anybody to get acclimated. We just have to go."
Shead started five of the 10 games he played in last season, finishing his rookie campaign with 62 knockdowns. Although just a sophomore, Shead has taken it upon himself to also create a bigger role for himself other than just his playing time.
"I'm just trying to step up for the team and be a more vocal leader," Shead said. "We have to have leaders on the team. We have so many young people and new people here, everybody is kind of nervous and doesn't know what to expect. With me coming back, I have to kind of help those other guys who don't know what to expect. I have to be there and be vocal."
|| Clay Aiming High
A five-star recruit (Scout.com) out of Scripps Ranch H.S. in San Diego, Calif., the expectations have always
been high for junior running back Brennan Clay. No one has higher expectations for Clay than himself, however, heading into his third season at OU.
"I'm really shooting to aim high," Clay said. "I know I can do it and what I'm capable of. I just know that if I stay healthy, things tend to work out in my best interest. I'm just going to keep pushing."
Clay, who rushed for 401 yards on 111 carries in his first two years as a Sooner, is shooting for at least 90 per game in 2012. But his individual goals are with something greater in mind.
"We're taking it one step at a time," Clay said of OU's aspirations. "We've already completed summer workouts. Now we're onto two-a-days. We really use the 'third quarter,' we kind of put that as the season. We have to win this third quarter. We get that Big 12 and that BCS Championship and that's the fourth quarter and we have to win it. That's what we're shooting for."
Junior RB Brennan Clay
"I really took it upon myself to become a leader not just for the running backs, but for the offense as a whole. I've really been pushing towards that and doing everything right. I feel like players will follow suit doing the right thing. I feel like guys stepping up and doing the right thing is going to lead to some good things in the future."
So. OL Adam Shead
"I thought (Saturday's scrimmage) was pretty good. I think we have some work to do, just a little bit. We'll be good. I think the defense looked really good. The offense did too, we had some pretty good looks. It was really about just getting out here and seeing where we're at today and I think it's a pretty good spot where we're at."
Junior CB Aaron Colvin
"(Coach Mike Stoops) brings a lot of fire. He brings a lot of enthusiasm. He's a 'I'll tell you one time and then everything has to be perfect,' type of guy. We're out there just fighting for him. We're trying to change this defense and change the look upon the secondary. He's helping us do that."
PRACTICE 13 COVERAGE
Oklahoma endured the first half of it's third two-a-day Monday morning. Here's what happened:
RBs Work Blitz Protection
LBs Backpedal & Burst
DEs Work with Sleds
Head-to-Head: WRs v. DBs
RBs Run Through Chute
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
While OU completes its two-a-day with a 6 p.m. practice, two former Sooners in DeMarco Murray and James Hanna will lead the Dallas Cowboys against the Oakland Raiders in preseason action on Monday evening (ESPN, 7 p.m. CT).
In case you missed it, Assistant Director of Athletics Equipment Blake Kuenzi took us behind the scenes to show Sooner fans the process of getting OU's helmets ready for gameday:
Prepping OU's Game Helmets
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