NORMAN — Draft day came early to Oklahoma and this one didn’t involve Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams or Jermaine Gresham.
Thursday was the day when teams were chosen for Saturday’s Red/White Game at Owen Field. The selections, which were made by the senior captains, revved up the intensity level for Thursday’s practice.
“Everyone is fired up. We have a little tension going,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “When we show up Saturday, both teams will be in separate meeting rooms. One team will come out of one tunnel and the other comes out the other one. Even the coaches, managers, support staff, everyone has to be on one team or the other.”
Offensive players were selected first Thursday.
The White team, which will be coached by defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and is anchored by captains running back DeMarco Murray, defensive end Jeremy Beal and safety Quinton Carter, took quarterback Landry Jones first.
The Red team, which will be led by offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson with its captains being safety Jonathan Nelson, tackle Cory Brandon and center Brian Lepak doing the picking, had the first pick of defensive players. It picked defensive end Frank Alexander.
“That was exciting doing the draft,” Carter said. “There was a lot of excitement when we were going through a walkthrough today. There’s a lot of momentum going into this game.”
That was very evident when linebacker Travis Lewis started talking to reporters following Thursday’s practice. Lewis, who will be a junior next season, is one of the most vocal players on the team. He’ll be a member of the White team and didn’t mind letting anyone within ear shot know that the Red team has no shot Saturday.
“We’ve got some star power up there. We’ve got me, J. Beal, Q. Carter. We’ve got players that want to compete,” he said. “I’m telling my offense, Landry and the guys, you give us seven points, and you can call it a game.
“I was telling them outside that practice, I asked what time the training room was open on Sunday because the Red team is going to need it. Man, they can have all the defensive guys they want. I’m just going to be skating on their guards. That’s all I can say. I’m going to be skating on them boys. You can quote it right now. It’s going to be bad for them.”
While Lewis was making his prediction, Alexander was standing on the opposite side of the interview room. He didn’t do much bragging Thursday, but admitted it was “loud” at practice.
“Lewis talked trash all day, but he’s my boy. I still love him,” Alexander said.
Stoops will signal in plays for the Red team during the game. The Sooners have nine assistant coaches, with five being offensive coaches. This was the only way to make things even. He said Wilson will be in charge of the Red team Saturday.
“I’d like to be totally neutral, but it works out best this way,” Stoops said.
The stakes were also elevated with the announcement of the teams Thursday. The winning team will receive a steak dinner Monday. The losers will dine on hot dogs and beans.
John Shinn 366-3536 email@example.com