OU practice report: Sooners start two-a-days
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Thursday, August 09, 2012
8/09/12 at 6:10 AM
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Original Print Headline: OU football practice report
Position update: Fullback
Trey Millard is one of the team's most versatile players and will be a key asset to Oklahoma's offense this season.
The junior has more touches than any fullback in Bob Stoops' 14 years at OU. Last year, he had 24 carries and 13 receptions.
"Trey Millard is getting more carries. That's something we wanted to do and we're making that effort because we want to do that," OU running backs coach Cale Gundy said. "The problem with Trey is he's also one of our best tight ends. He is also our best fullback. ... He's a hybrid guy and you have to find ways to give him multiple touches."
Millard also has added a new responsibility.
"I'm a junior and I'm a leader," Millard said. "I've never had that role, but it's been put upon me and I'm taking it. I'm trying to lead some of the young guys and show them how we play here."
Aaron Ripkowski, Marshall Musil and David Driskill are also getting looks at the position.
News and notes
Two-a-days: Oklahoma went through two-a-day practices for the first time in August on Wednesday.
The Sooners worked out in the morning before returning for an evening workout. The squad will go through a two-a-day regiment on four occasions this month.
Strength: Mike Stoops was asked what he considered the strength of the defense was in the early days of fall camp.
"I think it's all 11. That's what I feel our greatest strength is," he said. "We're going to have to play as a group ... They've shown when they play as a group and do the things right, this is a very complete group. ... We have some impact players. We'll see in this system, we don't know who they are going to be, but I think we'll see them as they emerge."
Solid impression: The defensive coordinator was asked about freshman Gary Simon on last Saturday's media day and again following Tuesday's practice.
Last weekend, Mike Stoops said of the cornerback, "You can never have enough good players. He's a very talented player. He has a lot of work to do, but he's got a lot of potential; that's the key word."
Then, after three additional practices with Simon, Mike Stoops said: "Gary has a chance to be a tremendous player. He is a talent. ... He's everything we thought he'd be.
"If you want to crown him, crown him," he added with a laugh. "You can take that for what it's worth."
Simon is a 6-1, 180-pounder from St. Petersburg, Fla.
Not easy for anyone: Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said picking up the offense is difficult for incoming freshmen and junior college transfers.
"You're splitting hairs," he said. "I think it depends on the situation. ... The experience of the junior college kid, a guy that's physically maturing and growing another two years in the weight room, or three years, depending on how long you've been there. It just depends on the kid."
Opponent watch: West Virginia
The Mountaineers are continuing fall camp with an eye on preparing for Big 12 Conference play.
West Virginia, under second-year coach Dana Holgorsen, will bring a prolific offense into the league. The coach was asked earlier this week if he expects his cornerbacks to be tested by the conference's spread offense attacks.
"We did that at Texas Tech a lot, now whether that was (Mike) Leach being stubborn, daring and risky. You see that a lot," Holgorsen said. "You'll see fastballs, you'll see deep balls, it's different.
"Nothing surprises me, because I was there for a long time, but definitely different than huddling and being slow."
Holgorsen will earn $2.3 million this season under a new six-year contract, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck announced on Wednesday.
Thursday: Mini scrimmage
Aug. 14: Mini scrimmage
Aug. 16: Scrimmage
Aug. 20: First day of class
Sept. 1: Season opener, OU at UTEP, 9:30 p.m.
Note: All practices and scrimmages are closed to the public.
Sept. 1: at UTEP (FSOK) 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 8: vs. Fla. A&M 6 p.m.
Sept. 22: vs. Kansas St. TBD
Oct. 6: at Texas Tech TBD
Oct. 13: vs. Texas (at Dallas) TBD
Oct. 20: vs. Kansas TBD
Oct. 27: vs. Notre Dame TBD
Nov. 3: at Iowa State TBD
Nov. 10: vs. Baylor TBD
Nov. 17: at West Virginia TBD
Nov. 24: vs. OSU TBD
Dec. 1: at TCU TBD