|| King of the Defensive Line
Senior David King will slide over to defensive tackle to help fill in for senior Stacy McGee, who violated university policy and is suspended indefinitely, head coach Bob Stoops announced Friday following OU's final practice of preseason camp.
"David has consistently weighed about 275 to 280 pounds," Stoops said. "He could treat himself to a few more cheeseburgers and he could be 285 pounds in no time. He has got the strength to play in there and the times he has played in there, he has done well. In all likelihood, we will rotate him in there with those other guys."
King is acceptant of whatever role he is given on the defensive line, and is confident in his ability to play inside.
"I've played there before, so it's nothing new for me," King said. "I'm comfortable playing down there. I'm heavy enough to where I can play down there and hold my weight."
A veteran that was already sought for leadership, King's
value has increased even more.
"I look to David for a lot of things - even though he is younger," senior R.J. Washington said. "I don't think that you're going to find a harder worker. He's just a good guy to be around. You all don't see it, but he is definitely the funniest person on the team - his mannerisms, they pretty much do it."
Funny King may be, but he couldn't have been more serious in his personal assessment of preseason camp.
"Overall, I think I've become a better leader," King said. "A lot of the guys on the defense and team look up to me. I feel like I've become a better pass rusher from the spring working with Coach Wright and Coach Shipp. I just feel like my overall game has improved."
No official word came on whether King will be mandated to treat himself to those cheeseburgers that Stoops mentioned, but he certainly deserves them.
|| Geneo Receives Opportunity
Instead of chasing down quarterbacks this season, sophomore Geneo Grissom
will be chasing passes from them.
Grissom, who played in six games at defensive end in 2011, switched to tight end over the summer to help OU's depth at the position and his chances to get on the field.
"Honestly, it's been the most fun change ever," Grissom said. "It's relearning the game from a new position. Being able to catch the ball again, who doesn't like to catch the ball and score touchdowns?"
It was actually Grissom's idea. The Hutchinson, Kan., native approached the coaching staff about it during the summer and was granted the opportunity.
Grissom played the position in spots at Hutchinson High School in a run-heavy offense. That experience coupled with his time previously playing a position that he now has to help block has eased the transition.
"I know where the defense wants to work, where they're supposed to be and I can kind of use that to my advantage to block the routes better," Grissom said.
With no returning tight ends, Grissom has done his best to seize the opportunity that he requested.
"He has been awesome and we have really been pleased with him," Stoops said. "He is a talented guy. He does all of it the best, meaning they are all doing well, but with his little more experience and athleticism. He has just really taken to it, and it has really looked good. Every day it has gotten better and better. He is what you look for. He is catching the ball well, so it has been a real positive."
|| Preseason Camp Comes to Close
Following the final practice of preseason on Friday at the Bud Wilkinson Practice Fields, coaches and players alike spoke with conviction regarding the success of OU's work through two-a-days. Check out what they had to say below:
Head Coach Bob Stoops
"I have [been enthusiastic]. I just think the guys are working well. They have had a good attitude. We have had a few nicks, but you know that is going to happen. So overall, it has been good."
Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops
"I really like our players and where they are at mentally and physically. I think we are in a good position heading into our preparation for the season. We came out relatively healthy, so that is a positive, and got some good work."
Senior R.J. Washington
"What I've noticed so far, with the defense at least, is maturity. It's more maturity. Guys know that you can't just go through the motions. You have to go out and get better every day. You keep moving forward day-in and day-out - you might not always have a good day, it's a grind out there - but at the end of camp it's one massive move of progression forward."
Senior Demontre Hurst
"It's a new attitude, trying to redeem ourselves from last year. This camp was very productive, one of the most productive camps I've ever been in, and everyone's getting better."
Junior Tony Jefferson
"I'm real proud of how the guys stuck together. Two-a-days is always a rough time. You're rarely at home. You rarely get sleep. But it's about commitment and our guys were committed this camp and I was proud of them."
Junior Tom Wort
"Overall, camp was good. As a team, we made a lot of improvements. Spring was like an introduction to the new defensive scheme, and camp allowed us to strive and make big improvements. We have had nothing but positive strides forward since we started this camp."
Senior DL David King
"After we went to the Insight Bowl, we came back and had a team meeting. We said guys had to step up. It doesn't matter if it is young guys or old guys, we have to step up and start being leaders and set an example for how we want this team to function this year. If we have one guy trying to lead everybody, everybody is not going to be on the same page, so we need everyone to come in and be joint leaders and look out for these young freshmen that just got here two months ago."
Sr. DB Demontre Hurst
"Gabe (Lynn) has been doing good all camp, he's really productive in the nickel spot, and the corner too, he's very versatile. I don't know where coach will put him, but he's established himself that he can play. The coaches like him, believe in him and trust him, and I do too. It's going to be a good thing having him out on the field with us, I know he can help us in a lot of ways. I feel like he can get out there and make some plays."
Junior LB Tom Wort
"(Corey Nelson) definitely refocused from last year. He has had a great summer and played well within the system. He has really come along strong and continues to improve. He has a lot of playing experience under his belt, and just needs to continue to step up and play."
Head Coach Bob Stoops
"You will have to ask (David King) what his passions are, but as a kid he is wonderful. He is an incredibly responsible guy, he always does what he needs to do in the classroom and off the field he is a great worker. In the weight room he is one of the strongest guys we have on the team and just consistently he is a good teammate and a hard working player for us. Hopefully, he will step up and I believe he is ready for a great year, really."
Coach Mike Stoops
"(The true freshmen) all have a chance, every one of them. We have to see where it takes us. We have a long way to go physically and mentally to get to a point where we feel comfortable playing them, but they all have a chance to contribute at some point during the season."
PRACTICE 19 COVERAGE
Oklahoma practiced Friday morning for the final time this preseason. Check out our coverage:
LBs Stress Footwork
Coach Kittle w/ Tackles, TEs
Practice 19 Gallery (55 Pics)
15 DAYS TO KICKOFF!
Ryan Broyles hauled in 15 receptions vs. Iowa State in 2010 to set the single-game OU record.
Ryan Broyles (2010) and Mark Clayton (2003) share the OU record with 15 TD receptions in a single season.
FRIDAY MEDIA SESSIONS
Select defensive players and coaches were made available to the media following Friday's practice. Check out the highlights below:
Media with Bob Stoops
Media with Mike Stoops
Media with DE David King
Media with LB Tom Wort
Media with S Tony Jefferson
Bob Stoops Quotes (PDF)
Mike Stoops Quotes (PDF)
The Sooners will take Saturday and Sunday off before resuming workouts on Monday as classes begin, structured akin to a typical game week.
The preseason AP poll is set to be released on Saturday morning. Find out where OU is ranked first on SoonerSports.com.
Members of the Sooner football team and other OU student-athletes are spending their afternoon visiting Madison Elementary in Norman to help set up classrooms for the start of school. Athletes will help teachers unpack, set up desks and chairs and clean surfaces, among other assistance.
SHOW ME THE WAY
SoonerSports.com caught up with senior punter Tress Way following Friday's practice:
Senior Punter Tress Way
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