The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 28, 2009

Big 12 Media Days — Bradford is Mr. Celebrity

OU Notepad

IRVING, Texas — There’s no doubt Sam Bradford’s status as a celebrity has reached a level few Oklahoma players have ever experienced. Everywhere he goes, he is quickly surrounded by well-wishers.

Sooner tight end Jermaine Gresham said Tuesday at the Big 12 Media Days there isn’t another person better qualified to handle the attention.

“I’ve never seen Sam turn a person down for an autograph, even when we’re out eating or something,” Gresham said. “Whenever somebody wants to have a conversation with him, he’ll talk to them.”

But Bradford said there have been some strange requests. A couple at a Norman eatery asked him in the spring if he would sign a baby, just like in the movie “Talladega Nights.”

“It was a little different. I never pictured that happening before. They actually placed the baby on the table,” Bradford said.

There’s no training for a situation like that. Bradford said the biggest question going through his mind was where to sign.

“I signed like on its one-piece, on its stomach. A onesie? Whatever,” Bradford said. “It was a little odd.”

Downsizing

OU will break in four new starting offensive linemen this season. None of them carry the bulk tackle Phil Loadholt or guard Duke Robinson possessed over the last two seasons. Both tipped the scales at over 330 pounds.

But Bradford does see potential benefits from a leaner offensive line.

“The lighter they are, the more in-shape they are, the fresher they’re gonna be in the fourth quarter, which will allow us to have a much quicker tempo in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Defensive goals

OU’s defense is expected to be much improved this season. It has nine starters returning from a group that gelled at the end of the 2008 season.

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