The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 2, 2005

Millington's status unknown

John Shinn's Oklahoma Football Notepad

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops would not shed any definitive light on the status of offensive tackle Akim Millington Thursday.

Stoops confirmed the redshirt sophomore from Wheaton, Ill., had quit the team by the middle of the afternoon. However, later in the day, a media report surfaced claiming Millington was back on the team. Given a chance to comment following the Sooners’ Thursday practice, Stoops declined to address the topic.

Assistant coaches and players were not made available to the media.

Millington was slated to start at right tackle when OU opens the season at 11 a.m. Saturday against TCU at Owen Field. However, he hasn’t practiced the last two days.

The 6-foot-5, 306-pound Millington was regarded one of the top linemen in the nation when he signed with OU out of Wheaton North High School. He redshirted the 2003 season, but played in five games last year. He was penciled in this year to replace Jammal Brown at right tackle.

Offensive line coach Kevin Wilson has spoken highly of Millington throughout the preseason and gave no indication of his departure at OU’s media luncheon Tuesday.

Chris Messner, a 6-6, 280-pound junior, will make his first start since the 2003 season Saturday.

If Millington’s departure stands, a thin offensive line will be even thinner.

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M; transfer Brandon Keith, left the team after two preseason practices. Keith has been attending classes and rejoined the team this week. OU would prefer to redshirt him.

That might not be possible. The Sooners already have true freshmen George Robinson, Branndon Braxton and Jon Cooper listed in the offensive line’s two-deep depth chart.

“We don't maybe have the number of guys and depth that we've had,” Stoops said, “but I believe the seven or eight guys that will play the most still can be awfully good.”

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