The Norman Transcript

August 10, 2009

Sooners break out the pads

John Shinn's OU Football Notepad

Monday night’s practice was Oklahoma’s first in full pads. Through the first four days of fall practice, NCAA rules prohibited teams from practicing in anything more than helmets and shoulder pads.

“The first few days are always a little bit sloppy and you’re without shoulder pads so it’s kind of tough,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “Today was fun and good. Guys were physical. The Oklahoma drill was wild. Guys were really getting after it, which is really good. Guys were competing and it carried right into our inside drill where we did a lot of short yardage. It was physical and the guys handled it well.”

Today should get tougher. The Sooners will hold their first two-a-day practice sessions of the preseason.

Move him

or lose him

Mossis Madu has been moved to wide receiver and by all accounts will be a factor at the position this season. Stoops said Monday he told the offensive staff it had to figure out a way to get Madu more involved in the offense this season or he was going to yank him over to the defensive side.

“I threatened that if they weren’t going to use him a bunch, I’d move him to corner,” Stoops said. “He’s just a really good athlete that can do a lot of things.”

In the spring Madu worked primarily as a slot receiver, but Monday night receivers coach Jay Norvell said the junior from Norman High has also been working at the outside receiver spots.

“We needed to take all the walls down and not have him categorized as anything,” Norvell said. “We want to put him in a position to make plays and train him to do so.”

High praise

for young DBs

Stoops has been impressed with his freshman class and has really taken a liking to some of the young defensive backs during the first week of practice. He gave some very high praise to cornerback DeMontre Hurst following Monday night’s practice.

“He has been outstanding. He’s as good a young player as we’ve ever brought in here. Out at corner, he’s really doing well,” the coach said.

Hurst joins Marcus Trice and Gabe Lynn as one of three highly-touted secondary recruits.

“Marcus Trice has looked really good and shows up all over the place. The other guys are, too. Gabe Lynn is doing a nice job,” Stoops said. “Just as you’d expect those young guys are all coming around and doing a nice job.”

Stoops sees improvement

Stoops remains upbeat about the kicking situation through OU’s first five practices. Solidifying the position is a necessity after kicker Jimmy Stevens struggled last season, going 8-for-12 on his field goal tries and missing five PATs.

So far Stoops said the kicking game has improved since last season ended. Tress Way, a redshirt freshman, has also been working at kicker and has made a positive impression.

“The field goals through five days have been incredibly consistent and good, which I hoped for and expected,” he said. “With a year’s more experience, they are better.

“Our kickoffs, they’re doing a good job. I’m pleased with it. When you have to start placing them, we’ll see who can hit the best and hang it the best. But I’m pleased with what I’ve seen.”

John Shinn