Open Post | Tuesday, August 6th

Mentality Going Into Fall Camp | Sourced
– Super K

Fall camp is here and the season is right around the corner.

Asked a few sources around the program what the mood is like going into the fall camp.

A new defense, a new offensive line and a no Kyler Murray feels like it should be a bit of a rebuild but that is not at all the mentality around the program.

Everyone I checked with said there has been an unusual focus on winning a national championship. I get the sense that some of that is driven by…

***The mentality of the new defense

***A newfound respect the offense has for the defense

***And Jalen Hurts leadership

One sourced said, “All summer it’s been playoffs (as the goal). Big 12 is expected but they want the ship and they feel more confident this year than years past”.

I asked if that confidence is warranted without Baker and Kyler…

“Believe it or not, there is finally hope that the the defense will be good. Even the offensive guys are expecting more (out of the defense) which wasn’t the case in the past”.

But can the offense be as good as it was the last two seasons?

”Think that will be hard but it will be good enough if the defense is what they should be”.

Breaking | Tre Norwood | Injury
– The Football Brainiacs

The Sooners are hoping for big improvements on the defensive side of the ball. Junior defensive back, Tre Norwood was expected to play a role in that improvement. He’s been a bit of a Swiss Army knife for the Sooners, able to play every position in the secondary.

However, it sounds like there has been some unfortunate news.

Multiple sources confirm to TFB that Norwood has suffered a significant leg injury. The initial sense is that it is an ACL injury that would keep Norwood out for a prolonged period of time.

Sooners Post Practice | August 3rd | Quotes & Sourced Notes
– James Hale

*** OU held their first practice of the 2019 camp and after the practice, Lincoln Riley said he was very happy with how the practice went.

 A couple of sourced notes on the workout to start with:

*** Was told the defense came back and retained a lot from the spring and I’m told linebackers Kenneth Murray (Junior, 6’2, 243) and DaShaun White (Sophomore, 6’0, 224) looking quick and fast and doing it right in the Grinch system coming downhill and filling gaps.

*** Source said Sophomores Pat Fields (5’11, 196) and Delarrin Turner-Yell (5’10, 193) worked mostly with the ones at safety with junior Robert Barnes (6’2, 207) and Chanse Sylvie (6’0, 192) and sophomore Justin Broiles (5’10, 189) all working in with the ones and the twos. Yes, Patrick Fields now says he is Pat Fields.

*** Am told it looked like OU’s defensive line had a good day against the inexperienced OU offensive line and senior Neville Gallimore (6’2, 301) looks quick and fast and sophomore Ronnie Perkins (6’3, 248) and redshirt freshman Jalen Redmond (6’3, 264) looked good rushing off the edge.

*** Also was told Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler threw the ball very well on the first day of practice and got a shot with the number one offense and moved the ball down the field with great throws to junior wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (6’2 191) and sophomore Charleston Rambo (6’1, 175). Sounds like, out of the quarterbacks, today Rattler was the best thrower among the bunch.

Coach Riley Post Practice

*** Coach Riley said it was a smooth workout and the team is a lot further along than they were at the end of spring. He was impressed with their physical fitness and feels good where they are at at this point in camp. He feels they are more comfortable with what they are doing on both sides of the ball this spring.

*** Coach Riley says that he and strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie are constantly talking and evaluation what the team needs and individuals needs in their conditioning program. He also said that OU is ahead of the game in the sports science part of the program which always benefits OU.

*** He feels the defense is heading into the right direction developing a new mindset with the new aggressive defense and getting takeaways. He said that the reminders started again today with regard to takeaways with the defense and if they had an opportunity to get a takeaway then they needed to finish it. Coach Riley said the defense was tough on the offense today.

*** Coach Riley says Fields, Tre Brown, Bookie and Turner-Yell have been the leaders on the defense in terms of breaking up plays and trying to make something happen in terms of takeaways.

*** Getting the ball out and creating turnovers is being emphasized on every play. He says it’s very competitive on defense to see whose best at getting their hands on footballs and creating big plays.

*** Coach Riley says that Sylvie is running and moving like he was before the injury and that Barnes was full-go today and was moving around well. Coach Riley mentioned that is was great getting both those guys back because they have both played some good football already at OU. Junior Jordan Parker (5’11, 180) was also full go to and looked fully recovered from that knee injury that cost him last year.

*** Virginia graduate transfer R.J. Proctor (6’4, 337) is being looked at both guard and tackle and that he gives Coach Bedenbaugh some position versatility. Coach Riley said that Coach Bedenbaugh may be losing a little sleep because of his reload situation but that he’s the same guy and actually for the first time in three years wore a new pair of practice shoes at practice today. Coach Bedenbaugh has to develop a new offense line so new sneaks!

*** Coach Riley says they are still building Redmond up and that they did not play him the entire practice. Coach Riley mentioned that he looked good when he was in there and they will increase his workout as the camp continues.

*** Coach Riley said that the Title IX inquiry that OU responded to today is something that his program is very sensitive to. He said the program supplies around the year education with all the players on those situations. It is something that OU takes very serious and that the program is always proactive and removing the guys from the team even before the decisions have been made. He reiterated that OU is not an investigative body.

*** Coach Riley said that a starting quarterback was not named after practice today.

Post Practice + Sourced Notes | August 5th
– James Hale

*** OU put the pads on for the first time today and the good news was that there were no new injuries.

*** The Sooners did have a few players sitting out. Defensive ends Sophomore Jalen Redmond (6’3, 264) and Ronnie Perkins (6’3, 248) both were out along with senior Kenneth Mann (6’3, 269).

*** I saw Redmond running with a couple of other guys and he does look good in that number 31 jersey.

***  Sophomore running back Kennedy Brooks (5’11, 209) and junior linebacker Brian Mead (6’2, 229) were also out with Brooks staying in the medical tent for a good portion of the time we were out there. Freshman defensive lineman Marcus Hicks (6’5, 268) missed practice with a mild hamstring pull.

*** When players miss practice that opens doors for other players and a few players took advantage of some of these guys being out today.

*** Hearing Sophomore linebacker Levi Draper (6’1, 245) is off to a good start and with Mead out he was running with the twos with sophomore Ryan Jones (6’2, 236) at Will and with Draper at the Mike. On Sunday, Draper made a great play causing a fumble that the OU defense recovered. Today he turned some heads with some instinctive downhill play as Draper ended up making a lot of tackles today.

*** I was told out of all the linebackers today Draper was probably the best player. Qord

*** With Brooks out and the desire to not overwork junior Trey Sermon (6’0, 221) in camp, sophomore T.J. Pledger (5’9, 195) along with junior JUCO transfer Rhamondre Stevenson (6’0, 232) and freshman Marcus Major (5’11, 211) are getting more reps.

*** Word is that Pledger had a great summer and is determined to make an impact and he’s made himself into a better player.

*** Stevenson is a big running back but doesn’t look like it. He is a flat belly that has good feet and moves well in open space. He has been impressive so far.

*** A lot of his teammates brag up Major and how smooth he is running the football. Marcus has been impressive early in camp.

*** Throughout my years covering OU I always come away bragging on their running backs because they always have good running backs and this year, while maybe not legendary, they are all very good.

*** With all those defensive ends I mentioned above out, that has opened the door for sophomore Isaiah Thomas (6’5, 255) to get some reps and he is taking advantage of it. I’ve been bragging on Thomas throughout the summer because when you are that big and still run in the 4.5’s you have some special tools. Now, he has packed some muscles and size to go along with that speed and he’s become very good off the edge. If Thomas keeps it up then he will work his way into the rotation at defensive end.

*** It sounds like the defense had a pretty good day today. It’s apparent that Roy Manning and Alex Grinch are teaching fundamentals because in this camp the secondary guys are all turning around and finding the ball in the air and then going and making a play on the ball. I’m told that’s allowed the secondary to make more plays at this point in camp than they have over the last couple of years and allowed them to get the defense off the field.

*** Word is that the coaches are also being a stickler on fundaments as they want drills run a certain way and if they don’t then they are asked to do it over and over again. That happened a few times in the secondary today with Coach Roy Manning and Alex Grinch.

*** The coaches love Stripling and as ‘K’ said in an earlier report they feel he’s good enough to play as a freshman if they need him at either defensive end or defensive tackle but on this drill, Coach Thibs didn’t show any favoritism and made him do that drill over and over again until he got it right.

*** I’m told Junior safety Robert Barnes (6’2, 207) had his best day and made a few plays from the safety spot. He said it is eye-opening compared to his freshman year how many more defensive backs are in the program right now.

*** It’s interesting to watch senior linebacker Caleb Kelly (6’3, 229) who will miss the season due to a torn ACL. Kelly is still very much involved with the practice even if he is not going through the workout getting the dummies set up for drills and standing right beside Coach Odom all through the scrimmage portion or team portions of practice.

*** Coach Manning said that senior Parnell Motley (6’0, 178) is having a good camp and he expects him to because he is a senior and feels that he will have his best year. He said that Tre Brown (5’10, 185) is playing great in camp. He has been impressed with his young corners as well as Miguel Edwards (5’11, 171), Jaden Davis (5’10, 172) and Woodi Washington (5’11, 182). He feels they don’t look like young players out there.

*** Coach Odom said that the defensive unit has bought into what the coaches are coaching up and what they are teaching. He said that sophomore DeShaun White (6’0, 224) is having a good camp but needs to work on consistency to continue his progress.

*** Coach Thibs is very excited about junior LaRon Stokes (6’4, 267) who continues to be impressive. Stokes was homeschooled in high school and was not a highly recruited player coming out but he’s a very smart football player and in the spring and in training damp camp thus far he has emerged as one of the best players on the defensive side of the ball.

*** Coach Thibbs said it was more of the defensive line wanting to lose weight and get in great condition than him harping on them to do so. He loves his group because there is a ton of experience in that group, He feels senior Neville Gallimore (6’2, 301) is going to have a great year and have a great NFL career.

*** Bookie Radley-Hiles (5’9, 180) has been solid so far in camp at the nickel back. Bookie is very confident and says that his one year at OU has been a big benefit for him because he has matured and become a more solid individual.

*** White feels the defense can be one of the best defenses in the country. He feels the Grinch defense is easier to learn because he has one job and if you can do that one job then you can be a good player and therefore a good team.

*** White calls Caleb Kelly  ‘Coach Kelly’ because this year he’s coaching the guys up. He said he admires Kelly as much or more than any other player he knows because he was so upbeat 20 minutes after he hurt his knee. He says Kelly is more upbeat every day and that means a lot to the team.

*** Was told Hurts was the best quarterback today and he was the last player off the field continuing to work on his footwork and doing athletic drills. A trainer always stays with him and works with him after practice.

For multiple daily posts, Insider Notes, More Sourced Practice Notes, member chats with TFB staff, James Hale’s Notebooks, TFB Sessions (5-minute audio talks) and much more, please check the Donor Board!