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Monday, April 18, 2011
Maisel: Sooners learning from past lessons

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

There's been plenty of Oklahoma coverage on the blog today from my spring visit to Norman, but colleague Ivan Maisel made the trip, too.

He writes about the Sooners' lessons from an offseason similar to this one, the last time Oklahoma was a spring title contender.

An excerpt:
"Everyone was pretty miserable," redshirt junior Landry Jones said of that 2009 season. "A lot of people around this place don't forget things very easily."

Least of all Jones, who went from the comfort of backing up a Heisman-winning quarterback -- otherwise known as Dude, Where's My Clipboard? -- to the discomfort of replacing him in the course of one snap. Injuries took a huge bite out of the Sooners. The players replacing them had little or no experience.

"I remember going into that Texas game," center Ben Habern said, "talking to [graduate assistant] John Flynn, who helps out with the offensive line, saying, 'I don't understand these blitzes that Texas is bringing.'

That was a tough year for Oklahoma, but plenty of the young players who struggled in 2009, like Jones and Habern, are back in 2011 as some of the league's best at their positions.

It's good stuff from Maisel. Check it out.