ou-twitter-avatar1 Open Post – Tuesday, March 11th (UPDATE 5:20 pm)

- The team will be practicing again today. Had a conversation with someone in the the know last night who confirmed some of the things we’ve heard on our end about the team. Firstly, he said that the team is truly a family. One of the things that we’ve mentioned on here before is that just a few years ago the locker room/team environment wasn’t always the best. Not saying it was horrible but perhaps the best way to describe it is a bit more “cliquey.”In contrast, this team is an incredibly tight knit group.

I believe we’ve mentioned this before but the locker room environment and the camaraderie on the team was one of the reasons Steven Parker picked OU. His father told me that it was the best locker room environment.

- Was also told by the same person that the defense is bloody thirsty. He said that the work ethic on the defensive side of the ball is flat out incredible. This also matches up with things we’ve heard from various sources on our end.

- On the recruiting front I am hearing that Torrance Gibson may be really close to setting up an official visit to Oklahoma. I’m told the visit could come as early as the end of this month.

- Also, can tell y’all that Oklahoma continues to sit really well with CB PJ Mbanasor.

- Outside of Will Sunderland however, we don’t seem to be in good shape right now with our other two main safety prospects, Keivon Ramsey and Kahlil Haughton. To be quite frank, Baylor is a school that continues to come up as a top or near the top school on a lot of Texas players’ lists including, Ramsey and Haughton.

- UPDATE (9:06 am): However much stock you can put into a 2016 kid putting out a Top 3 nearly two years before his actual signing day, Oklahoma is currently in the mix for WR Reggie Hemphill (Manvel, TX).

If you’ll recall, we discussed him in yesterday’s Open Post as he’s expected to be in Norman this Wednesday for an unofficial visit. Hemphill was at one time committed to Texas, but has since decommitted and reopened his recruitment.

- UPDATE (4:42 pm): We hope to have some more practice notes for you in the near future, but there is some other talk starting to leak out from some of the OU beat reporters who apparently were given some type of access to practice today. Several have confirmed what we told you yesterday, that Geneo Grissom has been working some at OLB. Only other note was that the Kentucky coaching staff was at practice today. Nothing really earth shattering.

- UPDATE (4:47 pm): 2015 ATH Tony Nicholson (Grand Prairie, TX) was evidently at practice today and posted this short clip that appears to be a flea-flicker with Cody Thomas at quarterback. Can’t imagine Bob will be very happy with one of their super secret trick plays getting out there.

 - UPDATE (4:57 pm): Also being told the Atlanta Falcons had some of their staff at today’s practice as well.

- UPDATE (5:10 pm): We should have more later but here is some stuff from today’s practice to wet your whistle.

* Today, Stanvon Taylor was running with the 1′s and Cortez Johnson was coming in a lot for him, especially on corner blitzes. Johnson’s timing has been good when he’s been asked to blitz.

* Dakota Austin is running with the 2′s today.

* Ahmad Thomas was doing his reads with the LBs and his coverages with the DBs. He is still playing SS for the 2nd team.

* Hatari Byrd looks very comfortable out there playing SS. He still cheats a little bit in Cover-2 in order to get over the top, but it looks like his ball skills have improved.

* Zack Sanchez looks better as well. He got beat once simply because he misplaced the ball, but he’s playing almost strictly man and looks really quick in-and-out of his breaks.

* Devante Bond looks raw but has been able to squeeze the LT down at times during run plays. He is incredibly explosive.

* As we’ve already noted in days past Geneo Grissom is playing up at OLB and has, at times, looked like he’s still adjusting/learning the assignments, which is to be expected.

* Both Frank Shannon and Dom Alexander look great playing ILB.

- UPDATE (5:17 pm): Utah and Kentucky are at practice today.

- UPDATE (5:20 pm): Even though Dakota is running with the 2′s today he’s looked really good. Our guy is saying he looks better than Stanvon at the moment.


  • Zack

    Great stuff in ready to watch the defense this year. Hopefully Sunderland commits soon. Where does OU stand right now with the linebackers in the 2015 class?

    • Gary Robbins

      It seems two seem to be our best bet at this time. Anthony Wheeler-Dallas, Tx. and Ricky BeBerry-Richmond, Va. It seems like there should be more than two. I will sure be glad when OU announces their plans for upgrades. At least something concrete and not just talk. Some of the recruits in their tweets, interviews,etc. were most excited about a new weight room- hope that comes to fruit.

      • Zack

        Yeah at the very least they need to get the ball rolling on the new weight room and practice facility. It took them forever to get the new dorms opened. This was the first year with the new dorms right?

  • Jed

    Just as a matter of curiousity, if a recruit like Gibson visits during the spring practic window, is he allowed to attend practice as an observer? Is he allowed to touch a ball? It would seem that that would be a very useful time for a recruit to get a feel for the team that wouldn’t be available at other times of year.

  • http://www.ctsooner.com ctsooner

    Baylor is flat out outspending all other schools. They are on a roll and I’m not saying they are paying all the kids as that’s not how it works, but they are taking care of just enough influential kids and making it count. I guess I give them credit since many schools have slush funds and still aren’t getting it right…..(OSU and Ole Miss come to mind)

    • J.K. Abbott

      Baylor is?? OSU and Ole Miss? all paying their star players?

      • http://www.ctsooner.com ctsooner

        Just read what I posted and you can figure it out. I never said all the players, just enough.

        • J.K. Abbott

          Really? The coaches or the schools making the payments? Do you think Boone is helping OSU pay them?

        • J.K. Abbott

          I wonder if OSU asked those players for their money back after the OU and bowl games?

    • J.K. Abbott
      • dwells

        That video is Hysterical.

        • J.K. Abbott

          One things for certain. He wasn’t the one who threw the Turkey leg on the field after Striker’s TD.

          • pitbull17

            hahaha, you got that right!

    • JJ

      Baylor can take chances public universities can’t. And briles is tight with the high school coaches. It helps that Texas had it’s issues & tuberville was out of touch with 99% of the state. I would imagine there is plenty of aid they don’t have to disclose as a private school. For instance housing allowance.

  • White Goodman

    CT, I thought the days of cash payouts were gone for the most part. Also, I can’t imagine a High School kid keeping this quiet enough to get away with it. Coaches would have to catch on at some point

  • SoonerPhins

    Baylor is trending up, for now, but a few bad seasons I could see them dropping back down to where they use to be. I guess some one has to make up for Texas being so bad the past 3-4 years.

    • Gary Robbins

      You are right. We are going head to head with Baylor on a lot of recruits. Being the latest Big 12 champ (thanks to OU vs OSU) and a brand new stadium. They are using those to entice recruits.

    • SamSooner

      Let Baylor, Texas, OSU, TCU, WVU, TTU, Kansas, K State, and ISU be as good as they can be. Let’s embrace it. I took a creative writing class once. I learned that if you have a weak villain, you will have a weak hero. I want a strong hero, OU.

  • Jordan Esco
  • EasTex

    This story and video show the Sooners are united in one goal, spirits are very high and team camaraderie is excellent.

    • SoonerPhins

      Nothing like a good Tug of War match to get the adrenaline going. Hopefully they come out to every game with the attitude they had against Bama.

      • EasTex

        I sure liked what I saw in player enthusiasm and they are only a few days into spring training.
        As for attitude I agree, a winning attitude is crucial.

    • Gary Robbins

      The coaches were just as pumped as the players in the tug of war. Do you know who the 2 players were?

      • SoonerPhins

        Looks like Jordan Wade (Top) and Dionte Savage (Bottom) but don’t hold me to that lol

        • EasTex

          I thought the player with his back to the camera looked like Savage, too, but can’t be certain of his opponent even using the large screen.

          • Jordan Esco

            It was Savage & Wade as Phins said.

    • Sooner Ray

      Dang Tex, that video got me fired up! I want to go outside and drag something around.

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      That’s awesome! I love the attitude of the team right now.

    • Doobie74OU

      Almost as good as Oklahoma Drills! Coaches Pumped! Check! Players Pumped! Check! The Football Brainiacs Crew Pumped! Check! I’m Pumped! CHECK! CHECK! CHECK! The Rest of College Football THAT”S CHECKMATE!!!!!!!

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Baylor will continue to do well in recruiting with their new success, new stadium, & explosive offense. I’m just glad we play them in Norman this season instead of their new digs in Waco.

    And re: the 2016 kid Hemphill… If he’s good enough to offer so far ahead, he’s worthy of discussion. Also, what about the proposed early NSD? If that starts in the 2016 class, Hemphill might be open to signing early considering he already has us in his top 3.

    I’m not much in favor of the early NSD for football, but what do you guys think?

    • Zack

      Yeah early NSD just seems weird. I can see it being a good thing only if the kids signing are qualified to enroll early in spring and obviously graduate high school early. So December 15th at the earliest. Think of how many times these kids change their mind. Some of them commit to 3 schools before signing day.

      • Leroy Jenkins

        Totally agree. Just curious, would an early NSD have helped Dallis Todd get to OU early like he planned on?

        • Malicong

          As I heard it, the problem with Todd was the timing of the end of the semester at his high school, not with signing his LOA.

          • Zack

            Yeah that was weird idk who’s semester ends at the beginning of February but it’s whatever. Would have been nice for him to start that rapport with the players I think he could be special.

          • Jordan Esco

            You are correct.

      • Super Keith

        I’m against it, specifically for the reason you mentioned. I know that it’s worked with basketball, but football (in numbers alone) is a completely different animal.

        I think the way it’s set up now, with an early JUCO signing period is just fine. If they want to work toward making things better, they could start with some of the ridiculous contact restrictions/requirements…especially as it relates to social media. I’m not necessarily for more contact, but some of the restrictions are just outdated, and moronic.

    • Malicong

      On some level I would like the early signing period but in general I don’t really think it is needed. The players that would sign early usually don’t change their minds anyway, so all it does it speed up the paperwork. In some cases it could hurt the kid as a coach may not be let go until after the bowl season then the player is either stuck or fighting to get out of his LOA if the scheme changes to his disadvantage with the new staff.

      • Zack

        Good point. Part of me wants to say they should let players transfer without penalties if a coach is fired. But then you’d have programs poaching other schools and I don’t like that. And if a coach is fired due to performance which is the case 99% of the time then the players technically under performed as well so they shouldn’t have that privilege.

    • Sooner Ray

      Not sure how I feel about it Leroy. I’ve heard arguments both ways and I’m kinda like you, wish they would just leave it alone.

  • Stikboy

    Where can I get a schedule to see what days they are practicing?

    • Jordan Esco

      I’m not aware of one. They used to provide one at Sooner Sports, but I can’t find anything there now.

    • Super K

      This week it’s Tuesday and Thursday. I can probably get the remaining schedule.

      • Stikboy

        Thanks man.

  • Jordan Esco

    Pretty good read here, especially if you enjoy a little Longhorn bashing (and I know you do).

    http://texas.scout.com/2/1382992.html

    • Sooner Ray

      Sounds like the texass H.S. coaches want their butts powdered more often.

      • JJ

        They are a tight bunch

        • Sooner Ray

          Tighter’n dick’s hatband

          • JJ

            Tighter than a frogs ass

          • Sooner Ray

            With a corn dog in it!

          • JJ

            Mmmmm state fair corn dogs. And a beer. Is it October yet??? So long as we are talking about texass football & corn dogs…

      • pitbull17

        pretty much

    • Roger Nixon

      Thanks for the link. That was some eye-opening stuff.

    • JJ

      Briles is successfully recruiting the big boys to Baylor BECAUSE he is part of that community. He is well liked & respected by Texas high school coaches & parents… Sorry but that is the truth. Winning, & the stadium are paying dividends now.
      Also, 2 guys near my age played for him at Stephenville, both have kids in high school now… So he’s getting ready to jump into those connections as well. Dads who played against his teams also…

      • Doobie74OU

        How quickly will the Bears loose that love if Briles jumps ship to another program or the pros? Do they have people in place to keep it going or will it be back to square one?

        • JJ

          It’ll likely be somewhere in the middle. He’s happy. There’s a reason he didn’t take the tx job…. Texas pushed hard, don’t think they didn’t. I doubt they stay successful, it’s a tough sell… Look at Houston when sumlin left

          • SoonerGoneEast

            I agree. Schools like Oregon can come from nowhere and have sustained success because of the money that gets poured in. With Baylor, I’ve always believed they are one coach away from their inevitable return to mediocrity, assuming they don’t land another Briles. Baylor is lacking history, tradition and money to have any sustained success without Briles.

          • JJ

            I honestly just think it was the perfect storm. No more no less. Sure for Baylor 8-4 is lofty heights. No one could have predicted 5 yrs ago that absolute bottom of tx & tx tech football would payoff to Baylor, just sayin. That PLUS Briles in roads & coaching skills lead to 2012. Remember Briles wasn’t as success at Houston as Sumlin

          • SoonerGoneEast

            Excellent point, and OU and Texas aren’t getting enough credit for Baylor’s success. If both schools were playing at the level we’ve all grown accustomed to, teams like Baylor and OSU wouldn’t be having near the success or receiving near the publicity.

          • JJ

            This is accurate. But also tx tech was grabbing up the crumbs with osu. When Tuberville “franchione’d” tech into sub 500, Baylor got their piece of the pie too…

          • SoonerGoneEast

            As you said earlier, perfect storm.

            Franchione’d, lol.

          • JJ

            So good to be back mentally into football lingo… Lol. I may survive this sugar bowl ankle after all

          • Doobie74OU

            Oh yeah for sure I was just wondering about the set up at Baylor. Don’t know as much about them because they are just now becoming relevint on a consistant basis!

      • Sooner Ray

        You think the new stadium will pay even after a coaching change or is it just lipstick on a pig?

        • JJ

          They couldn’t consistently fill the case. It was old & out of date. You ever been? They tarp it to hide empty seats. Did they need a new stadium? Actually yes, there’s was miles off campus & was the central stadium for all of Waco. Is it wasteful? No more than any other shrine around Texas football. But even to be middle of the pack big 12 they needed something. You ever been to Lubbock??? Just out of curiosity…

          • Sooner Ray

            Not to Lubbock but I have heard all the stuff you’re saying. I know they needed something, I was just curios as to whether it was enough to attract recruits for the long term or is it just the coach and when he’s gone so is the success.

          • JJ

            I just meant you should road trip to Lubbock… It’s about the same distance for me as to norman… It’s a craphole but a fun scene post game. I give LBK a hard time but it’s better than Stillwater… Lol
            A new stadium only attracts a certain type. Just like players who want to go somewhere cause of flashy uniforms. If that’s the player you are, that’s not the player I want on my team… For sustained Baylor success you have to have the perfect coach, they got in Briles. Not a lot of guys can succeed in that market. Eventually the boat will stop rocking, tech & tx will be more desirable. A&m stays desirable to certain percentage. Baylor will lose out on some of those guys.

          • Sooner Ray

            Hell, you screwed with my head there throwing the Lubbock right in the middle of our Waco conversation…LOL. I’ve been to Amarillo, figured it was more exciting than Lubbock.

          • JJ

            Yeah but not on game day…
            Baylors facilities were easily the worst in the conference. I hate LBK but even tech has done multiple upgrades since SW conf days. Not ole baylor. Tech’s stadium is a nice hs stadium, baylors was like that dump at UNT when you go into Dallas on 35. WAy way worse than skelly was

          • Sooner Ray

            I actually liked Skelly better than the old rust bowl in stoolwater.

          • JJ

            That was disgusting. Nothing nice can be said….

          • Gary Robbins

            You and all the posters need to watch the awesome video after the tug of war. It’s been around for a couple of months. After the tug of war it will pop up as 1 of 3 videos. It’s called “2014 This is Oklahoma Football”. it’s the first time I have seen it, so I watched it twice. Being so late you may want to view it earlier in the evening sometime.
            http://player.vimeo.com/video/88399563

          • Sooner Ray

            I will check it out. I gotta hit the sack right now because I’ve been at the Baker ranch all evening( Larry was there) and we did it up right!

          • JJ

            Let’s go back to corn dogs …

          • Sooner Ray

            Got any mustard?

          • JJ

            Of course I do!!!

            I just said “franchione’d”

          • Sooner Ray

            You so clever!

          • JJ

            My smartassness is recovering from the blow in NOLA

          • Sooner Ray

            Still can’t believe you didn’t suffer through the game, thought you were tougher than that…..HAHA.

          • JJ

            Well considering the restraunt called an ambulance & they cut my pants off… It’s not like I could catch a cab & head to the dome. I did keep thinking I could get there by halftime… Ouch. I know I was a disappointment to my fans… Lol

          • Sooner Ray

            Any respectable hospital would have had flat screens in the ER.

          • JJ

            Not in the NOLA ghetto… Not even kidding. No TVs anywhere waiting room or my room.

          • Sooner Ray

            That’s why I never get hurt in neighborhoods with clowns in the streets!

          • JJ

            Well it sucked, still does. And the guys we were sitting with were kind enough to text me a pic from our seats just before the last snap. Assbags. They were good seats…

    • pitbull17

      Wow, that’s about all I got. I mean all that those high school coaches are asking for is to be treated like texass royalty, is that too much to ask?

    • SoonerGoneEast

      Nice find.

  • Doobie74OU

    Super K since we aren’t looking as well on our top 2 Safety prospects besides Sutherland do you think they will pick up the pace on Roney Elam Jr. that you mentioned a couple weeks ago? Or is there somebody else out there we should have our eyes on!

    • Zack

      I’m curious how many safeties they plan to take this year. They already have Johnson who may be a soft commit but still and you have to think ou is the front runner for Sunderland. IMO they don’t really need more than 2 with the current depth and youth but I could see them taking 3 if the right guys commit.

      • Doobie74OU

        Yeah I think Super K said he liked Elam Jr way better than Johnson so was just wondering his take on the situation!

        • Zack

          Yeah he always has great insight.

    • Super K

      Everything I’ve been told is that Roney is an LSU lean but I don’t know for sure. I think if OU works at it they can grow on people like Ramsey.

  • Super Keith

    The best thing I’ve heard this spring is how close the team is now. We had the talent in 2010 to win it all, but there was definitely a clique mentality in the locker room. When a team really cares for each other, they play for each other. I suspect that’s a common bond with every team that wins a national title.

  • ohiosoonerdevildog

    So who do you guys think eventually locks down the open spots at safety and corner?

  • John

    As always, your updates are the best.Thanks for a peek at today’s practice.

    • Super K

      Thanks John…should be more tomorrow morning. We just have to get it all written up.

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Here’s a clip of Blake Bell catching a couple passes:

    http://instagram.com/p/la1sbOtaQt/#

    • John

      He looks good. Wish we could see him blocking as well. I can’t imagine he won’t excel at that as with everything else. Kid’s a bull.

    • John

      Thanks. Brief but sweet.

    • Boomer4life

      Stuff like this is what makes this site so awesome! Thank you Leroy! Bell looks pretty good out there.

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Quick question: Why was Utah and Kentucky at practice today? Does OU attend the practices of other teams?

    • Indy_sooner

      I wondered the same, but I was more curious about the Utes and the Falcons.
      For Kentucky, it’s a no-brainer with Mark wanting to get up to speed with the HUNH, given the success Mizzou, Auburn, TAMU and now us have had with it against bigger, more physical SEC teams.
      On the practice thing, I believe OU’s staff went to one of the Ca. programs (can’t recall if it was Fresno State or San Diego State) when they were looking to implement the no huddle and also consulted with Bama on the 3 man front (albeit probably tape review for the latter) so I think it happens, more often than we know w/o alot of publicity for obvious reasons.

      • Zack

        And the guys from Nevada for the pistol.

    • SoonerGoneEast

      This is commonplace among coaches. In fact, I think the Stoops brothers set in on the defensive side of some practices at Alabama last year. Do you think that one stung a little?

      These guys often carry more respect than hatred towards each other, unlike us radical fans. It also helps that so many of these guys already have relationships with opposing staffs since most are around the game for decades before they ever get their shot as a HC.

      • Eric Hoffpauir

        Nick Saban and some LSU coaches attended OU spring practices the year before we faced off for the championship.

    • Sooner Ray

      Looks like East and Indy pretty much covered this but I have heard of this for years, it’s common in almost every program to get some insight from a buddy that coaches somewhere else.

  • Tulsa Terry

    Baylor and Texas A&M will be difficult to supplant with the elite talent in Texas but a spot in this years playoff can change the situation in a hurry for Oklahoma. The game with Baylor this year will be telling for years to come.

  • Indy_sooner

    Take care of business on the field and we’ll do just fine in recruiting. All the bling Baylor has is good, but we don’t need the gimmickry to get to #8.

  • Hotrod33

    Love the reports from you guys. Keep up the great work. From reading the last couple open posts, it seems like the staff is getting a feel on how the players respond when they go against the ones. 1.) it will see who will start in the fall(obviously), 2.) it will make for better competition and make each player play at a higher(hopefully) level and 3.) helps build the depth if someone goes down. I love how this team is responding. It seems like that win vs bama was the taste they were looking for to get hungrier.

    • Super K

      Thanks! Should have more tomorrow.

  • Mike Reed

    Been reading this site for a few weeks now (1st post) and I love it!! Great work!!

    • Jordan Esco

      Thank you for reading!

  • OUknowitscomin

    Defense is bloody thirsty. Favorite line of post.

  • nate g

    If Thomas and Byrd are playing SS, who is at FS?

    • Jordan Esco

      Q. Hayes, I’d assume.

      • nate g

        I bet they have it backwards.

  • Boomer4life

    Blood thirsty! Enough said.

  • Stikboy

    Quick question. Is Hatari Byrd running with the ones at safety?

    • Jordan Esco

      He is, yes.

  • Don Mitchell

    The GOOD this board, and its staff
    The BAD Those who have infested it with thier personnal comments like Corn dogs
    and emergency rooms with tv’s ETC (not to mention me writing this)
    The UGLY its all going to come down to having to moderate.
    Guys love your work, who doesnt right? hate to see all that good work get covered up in meainglesss comments (like this one) so lets STAY ON TOPIC WILL YA! it makes the threads shorter and more interesting…
    Who died and left me charge? we’ll no one……just throwing that out there because this site by far has the best group of people anywhere on the net and I am not including the guys who run it who are equally if not more special for giving back to us, the fan.
    BOOMER SOONER
    JrsySooner

    • Eric Hoffpauir

      I wish it had a better commenting system so that we could quickly see new comments since we last visited. But a lot of people here come for the community as much as for the info, so you’re going to have a lot of OT talk on any comment thread.

      • http://thefootballbrainiacs.com JrsySooner

        there is an elipse at the left where you can choose, best, Newest or oldest….
        How did you get a signiture picture? Tried editing my profile but there isnt a “add photo” icon.. great more off topic banter rats my bad

        • Eric Hoffpauir

          I signed in with my twitter account.

          I think my favorite commenting system is at SB Nation – you can just hit the “C” key to cycle through new comments. And everytime you reload the page, new comments are highlighted in yellow.

  • bjwalker82

    I think they are probably giving both Dakota and Stanvon a look running with the 1s.