Sooner football practice notes
PLAYERS REWARDED FOR PERFORMANCE WITH SCHOLARSHIPS
Seniors Trent Ratterree and James Winchester were given scholarships this year after making huge contributions to the football program the last couple of seasons.
“I just felt that with all they’ve contributed and they’ll have a major role again this year, they are deserving,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “Our barometer in the past has been having to play a certain number of snaps and start. That’s how we’ve done it with other players, and they fit into that category.”
Ratterree hauled in 10 receptions for 198 yards last year. He saw playing time in every game and started five. Winchester also made his mark last year by recovering three fumbles while serving as deep snapper on punts.
UNCERTAINTY OVER RONELL LEWIS' RETURN REMAINS
Coaches are still waiting for word on whether starting defensive end Ronnell Lewis will be cleared to play the upcoming season. However, Lewis did practice Monday and appears ready to go should he be eligible.
“He’s still working on some family matters, but he did practice today and looked good,” Stoops said. “So, we’ll see where that goes, and like I said, whenever anything’s definitive I’ll say something.”
One way or another, defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright feels confident in his defensive front, particularly with the leadership in the group.
"This is [senior defensive end Frank Alexander's last year," Wright said. "He's very motivated about the fact that he wants to have a breakout year. He wants to be somebody that people will remember as having been a really great football player at the University of Oklahoma. He has come out and shown that he can be a better leader. He's picking up his game so that when he speaks he's got the credibility to back it up."
STOOPS SAYS RUNNING BACK DEPTH A POSITIVE
The Sooners are loaded with talent in the backfield this year. While that is far from a problem, it has left many questioning exactly how the coaches plan on spreading out the playing time amongst the many talented running backs.
The latest two-deep released by the team has sophomores Brennan Clay and Jonathan Miller as the first and second options. However, preseason all-conference pick sophomore Roy Finch was just coming back from an injury when that depth chart was released. On top of that, freshman Brandon Williams has had both fans and coaches singing his praises since his arrival to campus.
Now junior Jermie Calhoun is making people remember why he was once one of the top recruits in the country. Coaches say he is running strong and making a push for serious playing time after coming back from a terrible knee injury.
Stoops does not see the depth as a problem, though.
"We'll need them all," Stoops said. "It's a long year, and we snap the ball a lot."
Greg Fewell, Sports Reporter