Practice Report Oklahoma
BY MATT FRANKLIN World Correspondent & GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
8/14/09 at 8:16 AM
It is a position of some concern as Oklahoma's preseason camp unfolds. Juaquin Iglesias, Manuel Johnson and Quentin Chaney have departed, meaning 145 catches, 2,368 yards and 21 touchdowns from last season must be replaced.
Ryan Broyles, who set the OU freshman receiving yardage record a year ago, is a given. Converted running back Mossis Madu is working at slot and outside receiver. Adron Tennell, who has caught 16 passes his first three years in the program, is expected to emerge now that he finally has a chance to start. Junior Brandon Caleb might be able to help.
Junior college transfer Cameron Kenney is an intriguing prospect who has already turned heads with his punting ability.
Sophomore Dejuan Miller, at 6-foot-4, 224 pounds, has the physical tools to excel. So does Muskogee sophomore Jameel Owens.
However, it sounds as though Owens has hit a few developmental bumps.
"Jameel needs to make a lot of improvement," coach Bob Stoops declared last week. "There are some things right now where he isn't where he needs to be. Rather than be specific about it, he just needs a lot of improvement."
News and notes
Franks back for an encore: Dominique Franks' breakout 2008 season included 44 tackles, an OU-high 10 pass deflections and a pair of touchdowns off turnovers. Now he returns, along with fellow starting cornerback Brian Jackson, to build on his All-Big 12 Conference campaign. OU expects a lot from the former Union Redskin.
"For us to be what we feel like we can be, he'll have to have another year like that," defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. "We expect that from him."
What does Franks think of that responsibility?
"I love it," he said. "I just want to go out there, do my job, do whatever it takes to help my team win."
Hard knocks: Monday meant the first day the Sooners practiced in pads, which also meant the return of the "Oklahoma Drill" to open the practice. One player from the offense goes head-to-head in a show of strength against a member of the defense.
"Today was really fun," Stoops said. "The Oklahoma Drill was wild. Guys were getting after it, which you like. Really competing. And it carried right into our inside drill where we did a lot of short yardage. It was physical. Guys handled it well."
"It's the old 'King of the Hill' drill," offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. "Real competitive, real spirited. The defense is sauced up, flying around, making it hard for our guys. But I think it's been really good."
Some players stood out more than others, Stoops said. "The ones you would expect," he said. "Auston English, Jeremy Beal, Trent Williams. A few of the other offensive linemen did a nice job. Jarvis Jones came off hard."
The Cougars, who the Sooners will see at Cowboys Stadium Sept. 5, received some good news when starting nose tackle Russell Tialavea reported to preseason camp. Tialavea had considered going on his Mormon mission to Chile instead, but will now do so after the season.
That bolsters a defensive line that is solid on the ends, with Jan Jorgensen and Brian Denney, but not so much in the middle. Now the Cougars must find answers on an offensive line decimated by the graduation of four 2008 starters.
"I'm not worried about our O-line at all," quarterback Max Hall told the Salt Lake Tribune. "Those guys will be ready."
Tuesday: First two-a-days practice session
Aug. 24: First day of classes
Sept. 1: Next Bob Stoops press conference
Sept. 5: OU vs. BYU, 6 p.m., Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Sept. 5: BYU (Arlington, Texas) ESPN-25 6 p.m.
Sept. 12: Idaho State TBA
Sept. 19: Tulsa FSOK-27 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 3: at Miami TBA
Oct. 10: Baylor TBA
Oct. 17: Texas (at Dallas) KTUL-8 11 a.m.
Oct. 24: at Kansas TBA
Oct. 31: Kansas State TBA
Nov. 7: at Nebraska TBA
Nov. 14: Texas A&M TBA
Nov. 21: at Texas Tech TBA
Nov. 28: Oklahoma State TBA
Dec. 5: Big 12 Championship KTUL-8 7 p.m.