By John Shinn
Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham won’t play much in Saturday’s Red/White Game at Owen Field. The game, which serves as the capstone to spring practice, is typically a pretty bland day for established starters. Coaches don’t want to risk them getting hurt in a scrimmage.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said Thursday he’ll be limiting Gresham’s exposure to hits in a weird way this spring.
“The last scrimmage we had, every time we had a pass play, I took him out. And run plays I had him in,” Wilson said.
Gresham led the Sooners with 14 touchdown receptions last season and has established himself as one of, if not the, best pass-catching tight ends in college football over the last two seasons.
Blocking is the only thing that’s seemingly kept him from being a well-rounded player. Wilson said Gresham has taken every rep he can possibly get on running plays this spring and has held his own against the Sooners’ group of talent-laden defensive ends.
He has one goal for his senior season.
“He’s trying to become a more complete player,” Wilson said.
Backup quarterback Landry Jones and Drew Allen will get a lot action Saturday. And it will be the first time either has seen significant action in front of a live crowd.
Jones played in last year’s Red/White Game, but was only a few months out of high school. He redshirted this past season. Allen graduated a semester early so he could go through the spring and will likely redshirt in the fall.
Quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel said both are having good and bad days, but that’s to be expected.
“The thing about both of them is they have a great attitude in the meeting room and they want to get better every day,” Heupel said. “When a bad play happens, they don’t let it hurt the next play. They bounce right back.”
Wilson said he’s been impressed by both. They’ve shown a lot of talent. They’ve also shown the ability to do what good backup quarterbacks need to do — study the starter.
“They get a picture every day watching number 14 (Sam Bradford),” Wilson said. “The way he works, the way he practices, the way he is in the meeting room, is something they notice.
“I told Josh this the other day. The best thing is they watch Sam complete passes and they start thinking they’re supposed to.”
Fans attending Saturday’s Red/White Game will get a few extras benefits Saturday.
• Fans will have an opportunity to have their photo taken with the actual Heisman Trophy prior to Saturday’s game in Heisman Park, located directly east of the stadium
• The Red/White ticket stub will be redeemable for a $4 general admission ticket (half price) at the OU-Texas Tech baseball game at 4 p.m., and for free admission to OU’s men’s tennis match vs. Oklahoma State at 5 p.m.
• Fans will receive complimentary posters and schedule magnets upon entry to the stadium.