The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 6, 2014

Sooners expecting more physicality from bigger, taller backs and receivers

(Continued)

NORMAN —

But with a recruiting class that includes Mark Andrews and Jeffrey Mead, who are both 6-foot-6, and the 6-5 Dallis Todd as well as other lanky receivers with frames ready to add girth, it’s easy to see where OU wants to go. The re-emphasis on the tight end position shows as well.

OU wants to become a team that can beat you up as well as blow by you.

“We’ve got a lot of big guys, a lot of physical guys and then we’ve also got our guys that can get out in space and win, so it’s exciting,” OU quarterback Trevor Knight said.

The shift started to take hold late last season during Knight’s second run as starting quarterback. Tight ends and fullbacks were on the field more. The ability to run between the tackles became top priority for running backs.

The long-term plan will be easier to see when the Sooners host the Red-White Game on Saturday at Owen Field.

“In good, tough, competitive games, that physicality is important,” Norvell said. “We might have lost a little of that before last year but we kind of gotten back to more of that and it certainly helped us at the end of the year last year.

“Our practices have been very physical. They’re not always pretty sometimes but ... we get tougher-minded from that, I think, and that’s going to help us in the future.”

How physical the Sooners are in their one public scrimmage is up to the coaching staff. The typical goal is to walk off the field as healthy as possible.

But don’t expect to see a lot of short passes and four-receiver sets. That offensive style is still prevalent in the Big 12 Conference but the Sooners have evolved.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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