Post Practice Notes and Quotes

Sorry, not much today in the way of defensive guys. Coach Mike Stoops was not available.

Hatari Byrd

– In commenting on all the new guys in the secondary, Hatari said that he feels like they feel comfortable within the scheme and in understanding their assignments.

– Said that the atmosphere continues to get more and more intense as the game approaches.

– Said that physicality has always been a strong point for him. Said he’s so physical that at times he even gets in trouble in practice on occasion. But also remarked saying that he’s tired of hitting his own teammates and is ready to hit some other guys.

– Said that Julian Wilson looks “pretty good” at corner and continues to look more and more comfortable.

– When asked about LA Tech’s big RB he said, “size doesn’t really matter to me.”

Coach Jay Boulware

– Said that Alex Ross will get the nod as the first kick returner. Said that coach Gundy works with the kick returners as well and he feels like Alex is the right guy to take the first kick off return and coach Boulware says he trusts Gundy’s experience and judgement.

– Said that Michael Honeycutt is, “phenomenal” and gives him peace of mind.

– He feels good about a number of his special teams guys going into the game. Feels good about the kick off and punt return options available. But also said that, until they play a game you never know where you’re truly at.

– Talked about some of the young guys who are impressing on special teams. He mentioned Jordan Thomas, Samaje Perine, and Dimitri Flowers. Also mentioned some older guys that haven’t played much like Austin Bennett and Daniel Brooks.

– Said that he expects big things out of Keith Ford on special teams and wants to continue to use him on special teams.

– Talked about his room of TEs and said, “I love my room. I really do. It’s the best room I’ve ever had…we’re led by Blake…got guys like Ripkowski…Dimitri Flowers…Taylor McNamara…you’ve got a whole host of guys doing a good job. Those are our four main guys. The other guys are our next tier guys…I love that group of guys.”

– Said that they will probably redshirt a couple of players…didn’t say who specifically.

– In talking about Blake Bell he said, “Blake is a selfless guy. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the team. Blake probably could have been one of those guys that you read about now who transfers somewhere…he’s talented enough to do that. But Blake said I’m a Sooner. I’m gonna be a Sooner the rest of my life…I’m gonna do what’s best for the football team and what’s best for the football team is for me to play TE.”

– Said that Blake’s experience at QB helps him be on the same page as the quarterback. Said that Blake walked in everyday in the spring with a notebook and a pencil and really absorbed the offense and demonstrated to other guys how to be meticulous in their study of the game.

– Said that Blake has rubbed off on Taylor and the entire room. He’s picked things up quickly and it inspires other guys to do the same.

– “Wesley Horkey gives us a better athlete at the snapper position. He gives us a guy that can wing it back there.”

Caleb Gastelum

– Said that his priority right now is to do exactly what he’s asked to do and said that the little bit of PT he got at OSU last year helps settle him.

– Said that Jordan Evans is very smart and he’s picked up the system very well. Said that he and Jordan help each other.

– Talked about his will to play wherever the coaches put him. Note: Just really exudes a selfless attitude in general…sounds like a very level headed young man that isn’t afraid of the field or the spotlight but also doesn’t seek it…he’s a team guy.

– Said that his family’s message to him has been “keep your head down and work hard”.

– Talked about how he ended up as a walk-on at OU. Said that when he was in high school he really didn’t know much about the recruiting process and didn’t get involved in it much at all. He sent his film in to Oklahoma and they liked it.

– “Every game week is the biggest game you play. Whether it’s LA Tech or Texas…you’ve got to be ready”.

  • Jake

    Blake’s selflessness, leadership, and work ethic has made him a Sooner Legend regardless of what he does at TE this year!! What an awesome teammate!!

    • JB

      Couldn’t agree more, Jake. If someone asked me to list my 10 favorite Sooners of all time, Bell would be in that list even if he never takes another snap. His toughness, his team priority, his dedication to whatever he does…just, wow. If you could clone his heart and attitude & transplant those into the rest of the team, you could win a number of consecutive championships.

      • hOUligan

        Couldn’t be much more of a Blake Bell fan than I already am with his hard-nosed style and after the way he lead the team at ND and the comeback against state. But earning the start at TE, he is not done. Like you said, love his heart and attitude.

        • Cush Creekmont

          BB will always be a favorite of mine because he WON against ND.

    • blaster1371

      How he isn’t a captain is a mystery.

      • Kody K.

        Yea blaster, that is something that intrigues me as well. Seems like he is portrayed as the most popular guy on the team. Are we missing something here? It seems wrong that he is not a captain.

  • Jeremy Phillips

    where is Isaac Ijalana??? he wasn’t on the list of TE’s yesterday and his name hasn’t been brought up once….

    • Super K

      Sounds like he’s behind the other guys. Not sure what his eligibility was like but maybe they’ll redshirt him if that’s an option. He looked more athletic than I expected him to be in the spring game.

      • Ed Cotter

        It may be him that Boulware was speaking about in his comment regarding redshirting some guys.

        • Super K

          Yeah. If guess him and carson

          • blaster1371

            That would be my take. I think Conner Knight may be a better TE than some might expect.

    • 22dupree

      I liked Ijalana in the spring game too. Got behind the backers and made a nice grab on a ball that looked to be slightly behind him. If he redshirts, it’ll be nice to see he and Carson Meier with McNamara next season. Hopefully TE will be like the D-Line was … we’ll go from having none, to having quite a few contributors.

    • rphdenton

      …probably redshirt per boulware on oui……..but you’re correct, hasn’t been mentioned much

  • Sooner Ray

    Wouldn’t be unhappy if Ross took the first kickoff to the house.

    • pitbull17

      I think that there could not be a better way to kick off the ’14 season.

    • Shifty

      If he gets a seam and hits it he will…dude sounded like a freight train in one of his hs KOR highlights when he went right by the camera

      • Sooner Ray

        The boy can fly if he gets loose. He was fast in high school and he’s bigger, faster, stronger now.

        • Shifty

          Hopefully Neal will get that block that opens the seam…you would think maybe Perine or Flowers would be ideal back there to make that first block yet still be good enough to take the kick but I’m not sure on their blocking yet and I’m sure Neal will get it done

  • Eric Hoffpauir

    We’re going to have to bring it every game this year. I try to stay away from the talking head BS on cable news, but I watched a bit tonight. Every mention of possible playoff teams was that OU has a terrible schedule and doesn’t have the depth or talent that the other top teams do. The folks at the Big Ten Network, of all places, were ragging on the “weak” Big 12.

    • L’carpetron Dookmarriot

      I’ve heard and read that as well.

      For some reason, it’s fine for talking heads/mouths to say that OU is overrated because they don’t believe that Trevor really is as good as his Sugar Bowl (he’s still “uknown”), yet Bama is rated accurately even though they don’t know who their QB is going to be, one of them who has been there forever and hasn’t played much, the other has barely played at FSU.

      This isn’t a problem at all…

    • blaster1371

      Yep. Any talk about the post season at this point is just a bunch of yahoos who have run out of material to bump their gums with. The fact is they have no clue about how things are going to shake out. None of them picked Florida State last year. Heck the year before that USC was thie darling and they didn’t even finish in the top 25. If OU gets no love from any of them these first 8 weeks I’m ok with that. Just win Sooners, control what you can control and just ignore what you can’t control.

    • lovethemsooners

      Yeah and these are all the same people that thought Alabama was going to take us behind the woodshed last January. We all know how that turned out. Let ’em talk. I’m sure it’s pissing the players off too, which is what really matters.

      • Eric Hoffpauir

        True. I just worry that all this politicking will keep OU out of the playoff if there’s any slip up at all.

        • lovethemsooners

          They’re definitely looking for a reason. It must be the SEC’s revenge for us not going to that conference and allowing MizzOU to go in our place. That and we keep toying with their premiere program.

    • Perry Dickey

      Heard Lee Corso yesterday. Not a mention of OU in the final four. Heard Dave Wannstedt today, says he would like to pick OU but with no conference championship game, no go.

      • Sooner Ray

        But they don’t want to talk about years ago when we were playing a conference championship game and others weren’t. They also don’t want to add that we have a true champion because we play everyone and we also play more conference games than one’s with a championship game.

      • Sorry but as Bob has said before we should all be doing the same thing. If we have CCG and others don’t that is not fair. If all the rest have a CCG we should too. I liked the CCG. Hope we can have it again but also realize that it hurts us to not have one. Have to be undefeated, it is what it is.

        • Eric Hoffpauir

          What Bob was complaining about at the time was was that the Big Ten didn’t have a championship game and it didn’t have a round robin schedule.

          • He actually said if one had to do it one way then they all should.

    • Stats

      Just once I’d like to see an “analyst” for the analysts. “Who’s going to get it right this year?” “Who can actually get the playoff team right?” “Who is overrated?” They throw out opinions, but they’re just for headlines & stories to bring viewers to bring advertisers who bring $. Can you imagine if they were paid for accuracy instead of viewer ratings?

      • Tulsa Terry

        Ex Oregon coach Mike Belloti stood up for the Sooners today to the dismay of the panel. Said coaching against the Big 12 was a nightmare and against the BIG wasn’t so bad.

    • Fear The Magic

      What worries me is that the we dont have a conference championship game. If the powers that be dont want OU in the playoffs then that will be excuse enough for them even if we go undefeated and we’re up against a 1 loss Bama or whoever team. This is one of the reasons we have to really destroy SEC’s Tenn just so we have that on our resume at the end of the year.

  • Hotrod33

    This is the best thing about our team right here. Is that a coach is willing to ask another coach for assistance in which he trusts. This tells me when any of them have a issue they ask for another coach to help them out. Sometimes you need another set of eyes to help you out on who looks better.

    “Said that coach Gundy works with the kick returners as well and he feels
    like Alex is the right guy to take the first kick off return and coach
    Boulware says he trusts Gundy’s experience and judgement.”

  • trusoonerA53

    Hey on Bell not being voted is no surprise to me. I remember reading that his dad was a tight end, and from what I remember, tightends also are known for having nasty attitude’s. Think going from QB to tightened no easy task. Then think about Bell’s Passion “THE TRAIN,” I imagine he has pissed some off. Because all we’ve heard is positive information. Bell really excites me ? What are they not saying about Bell. Plus your going against the best defence in the nation every day. QB to hand in the dirt, the sacred land where the game always begin, I do wish Bell was a captain, but maybe he told his team mates not to vote for him. He knows the responsibilities especially being the QB last year. No he has time to focuse on the game. Making a grand entry into his senior year. Make some bacon Bell. May GOD this team

    • WilliamJack


  • Kevin Fielder

    I just want to beat La Tech…soundly…with no injuries…period.

  • JJsooner1

    So who should we look for behind Ford and Ross? Ford is really a beast but Ross is a gamer with a chip. Who is the best one behind them?

    • Mike Reed

      I think Stoops said in his presser it would be Samaje Perine.

  • John McCroskey

    Demarco Murray returned kickoffs, too, like in the 2008 BIG XII Championship game, and that never came back to bite us. I’m glad we had him back there, it was totally worth it to see him house a return against Baylor.

    • Eric Hoffpauir

      Wait, what? That’s how he got injured!

      • Jake

        Sarcasm font needed

  • trusoonerA53

    Thanks William Jack. But I started thinking. He’s blue blood, his dad and uncle played in the NFL. They talked about maid plans, started working. Now what does every dad want for his son? To be successful. I can only imagine what the family did to Bell, in his training. This is no surprise. Watch Bell still lead even more so. His passion is undeniable