The Norman Transcript

November 13, 2013

Not an ideal senior day for Sooners’ team captains

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — When OU goes through senior day Saturday, fullback Trey Millard and linebacker Corey Nelson won’t be able to play due to their season-ending injuries, and there’s a chance cornerback Aaron Colvin won’t be in the lineup either. That’s three of OU’s captains that likely won’t be able to play in the final home game of the season.

“Those guys are just really the heart and soul of what we’ve done for a lot of years. To be seniors, we don’t know what’s going to happen with Corey. To not be able to end their careers the way they want — and even Aaron, if he can’t go this weekend — then we’ve got some guys that have played a lot of great football here at Oklahoma that really aren’t going out the way they had expected,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “That’s disappointing for all of us. But they’re all going to have, hopefully, NFL careers that they can fall back on. It’s something to look forward to.”

Nothing new: Stoops didn’t give updates on injured starters cornerback Aaron Colvin (shoulder) or wide receiver Sterling Shepard (head).

“I’m not gonna detail that,” he said Wednesday night. “That doesn’t probably play in the best interest for us. There’s quite a few of them, still question marks, but they’re progressing, so we’ll see.”

Russell redshirting?: Junior defensive tackle Quincy Russell has not played since the Tulsa game and has been dealing with a back injury. But it may not be a wasted season for the highly touted recruit. The possibility is there for him to get a redshirt for this season.

“We’ll see by the end of the year how that goes,” Stoops said.

Clearing up: Linebacker Dominique Alexander had eight tackles, including a sack for a safety, against Baylor. The freshman’s play over the last four games has been a bright spot and a very positive sign for the future.

“I’m playing faster since my first start. I’m seeing things,” Alexander said. “My vision has gotten a lot better and I’m seeing the whole play. I guess that’s what my biggest area is so far. I can see things a lot better with more games that I play.”

Leaning on the family: Quarterback Blake Bell says he doesn’t listen to those calling for him to be replaced as starting quarterback. But he has been talking to his family a lot.

“Yeah, my dad and uncle, they’ve been there for me. My mom, my whole family, they’ve been there,” he said. “They’re letting me know this and that. My dad always tells me you’ve just gotta keep playing and don’t listen to any of that stuff and just do what you do, man.”

Always respectful: The Sooners face 1-8 Iowa State on Saturday. But you won’t hear any talk of downplaying the Cyclones.

“They might be the best 1-8 team you’ve ever seen. They’ve lost a lot of close ones that have really came down to the wire. They’re a team that’s gonna play down to the wire and they’re never going to quit,” OU guard Bronson Irwin said. “You’ve got to keep it on them and you’ve got to keep it on them and make sure you’re matching their level of intensity.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

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