The Norman Transcript

OU Football

April 12, 2014

Red-White Game won’t showcase all the starters



· Wide receivers Dannon Cavil and Jordan Smallwood: Both are coming out of redshirt and need to establish themselves heading into the fall. Cavil and Smallwood are both the type of receivers the Sooners would like to use. Cavil is 6-foot-4 and Smallwood is 6-2 and both are over 220 pounds.

There are several more receivers competing for playing. K.J. Young and Derrick Woods are in that group.

“Those guys are all athletes. They’ve shown real flashes that they can do things, but now it’s about building up a competitive ground that competes every day and make plays,” receivers coach Jay Norvell said. “We’ll kinda see who rises to the top as we go through spring.”

But the Sooners have been actively pursuing bigger receivers on the recruiting trail the last two years.

· Dakota Austin, Stavon Taylor and Cortez Johnson at cornerback: This is a true competition battle for the cornerback spot Aaron Colvin vacated.

“They’re getting better. All three of them have improvement to make,” OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “They’re getting better. They’re working at it and we just need more consistency.”

This one should be easy to watch. When corners make mistakes, big plays are the product. All indications are Austin and Taylor are a little ahead of Johnson.

One will wind up as Zack Sanchez’s backup on the other side.

· Alex Ross and Keith Ford at running back: Both of them will play next season, so it isn’t like a poor performance will relegate one to the bench. Ford showed how explosive and physical he can be as freshman. Ross has drawn raves throughout the spring. Both have the frames to run between the tackles, which is the essential element the Sooners are looking for.

Two things to look for today: ball security and pass protection.

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