Dallas Colleges: Rashod Favors

Big 12 media days live: Day 2

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
9:40
AM CT
The Big 12 media days continue on Tuesday in Dallas, as Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and new Texas coach Charlie Strong each take the stage. Keep this page open throughout the day's proceedings as we bring you the latest from our reporters, who will cover all 10 teams at the event.

During the summer, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall, and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.

No. 29 Rashod Favors, defensive end, 6-foot-1, 253 pounds, senior

Impact thus far: Favors' impact has been minimal during his first four years on campus and featured a position change. After a redshirt season in 2010, he played in one game in 2011 as a linebacker. ... In 2012, he had the lone production of his career with 10 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, in nine games played. ... In 2013, he played in 12 games, largely in a special teams role. He’s played in 22 career games with zero starts heading into his final season in crimson and cream.

Impact in 2014: Expect Favors to play a similar role to 2013 when he saw spot duty on defense and played a special teams role. He should be a contributor but it would be a surprise if he earns a start this fall.

Long term upside: He’s a contributor, not a game changer, but his experience could prove useful as a senior.

Evaluation grade for Favors: D. He’s a contributor, but entering his senior season without a start drops this grade below average. Favors has played in 22 games as a Sooner, which cannot be overlooked, but more is expected from a Sooners’ signee.

Development grade for Favors: C. Favors flashed some pass-rush ability early in his career but wasn’t moved to the defensive line until his junior season. Yet it’s hard to say he hasn’t gotten opportunities because he has gotten some chances on defense, but other players have simply outperformed him.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Defensive end Geneo Grissom hopes the Oklahoma defensive line will ignite emotions within opponents this fall.

“I want to make sure when we step on the field, O-linemen are scared,” Grissom said. “I want our D-line to invoke fear in opposing O-lines.”

[+] EnlargeJordan Phillips
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesSophomore Jordan Phillips is entrenched as a starter at defensive tackle for the Sooners. Can he become a star in 2013?
The Sooners' defensive line took some positive steps in that direction during in the Red-White spring game at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Defensive linemen accounted for four of the five sacks in the game including two from defensive tackle Rashod Favors and one apiece from Grissom and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.

“I thought the D-line overall did a really good job,” coach Bob Stoops said. “I thought they got good pressure and for the most part, playing the run, I thought they did a pretty good job.”

The Sooners' quarterbacks spent a good part of the scrimmage on the run, evading pressure, a sign the defensive line is improving. And, in a game which featured 112 total offensive plays, OU’s defensive front limited the big run, with Brennan Clay’s 35-yard scamper ranking as the longest ground-gainer.

“We did what we had to do,” Grissom said. “You always feel you can get better and do better but we were completing our assignments and doing what we’re being taught to do. Overall it was a good day.”

The Sooners' defensive line isn’t quite there yet. While OU’s front was disruptive at times, it struggled to get pressure at other times and got off to a slow start in the first quarter.

“We still need to develop playmakers up front,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “But I thought they got better as the game went along.”

While he wasn’t dominant, Phillips showed the ability to be disruptive in the backfield, finishing with three tackles and one sack. The lone returning rotation player at defensive tackle, Phillips will be counted on to be a disruptive force in the middle for OU. His progression from a player with potential to a disruptive playmaker could make a difference for OU's defense.

“He’s a great player,” said linebacker Corey Nelson, who finished with three tackles. "He played well today, very physical, got after the O-line and made our jobs easier today.”

Grissom was also impressive with his speed and strength on the perimeter, showing the ability to get into the offensive backfield on passing plays. The junior appears to have finally found a permanent home at defensive end after playing some tight end in 2012.

“That’s a key player we need to step up, and he has been,” Nelson said. “He’s probably our best pass-rusher.”

Improving the play of its defensive line is high on the Sooners priority list this offseason. Stoops likes to play man-to-man defensive schemes, so having a disruptive defensive line could be the difference between stopping some of the explosive offenses in the Big 12 and having another disappointing defense this fall.

“We’re starting to show signs of consistency and that’s what we need,” Stoops said. “We need to continue to develop playmakers in our defensive front -- that’s going to be a premium moving forward.”

OU took steps forward this spring but will have to get much better to become a dominating unit in 2013.

“We’ve gotten a lot better but we have a long way to go to get where we need to be,” Grissom said. “We have guys who want to win, and that’s what it takes, so we’re going to get there but we’re not quite there yet.”

Breaking down spring camp: Oklahoma

March, 6, 2013
3/06/13
9:53
AM CT
The Oklahoma Sooners open spring practice this weekend with change in the air. Let's take a closer look.

Schedule: The Sooners begin spring ball Saturday, the first of 15 NCAA-allowed practices. OU will hold its spring game April 13.

What's new: What’s not? Bob Stoops brought in three new assistants, seven defensive starters are gone, and for the first time in six years, the Sooners have a quarterback competition. After back-to-back three-loss seasons, this is lining up to be the most important -- and most intriguing -- spring of the Stoops era in Norman.

All eyes on: The quarterback derby, which will be the dominant storyline of the spring. Junior Blake Bell, sophomore Kendal Thompson and freshman Trevor Knight are all vying to replace four-year starter Landry Jones. Bell is the favorite because of his age and experience in the “Belldozer” package, but insiders around the program believe Knight is capable of unseating him. Whatever happens in the spring, don’t expect a starter to be named. Stoops waited until the fall to declare Sam Bradford his starter in 2007, and figures to do the same here.

New faces: The Sooners welcome four mid-semester enrollees, and all four have a chance to make immediate impacts. Toronto native Josiah St. John, the No. 1 junior-college offensive tackle in the country, figures to be no worse than a key backup. Wide receiver Dannon Cavil, who grew up a Texas fan, has great size and should vie for a rotation spot at outside receiver. Defensively, Ahmad Thomas will be given every opportunity to start at safety, and defensive end D.J. Ward, the top player coming out of the state of Oklahoma, could boost a defensive front that ranked 108th nationally in tackles for loss last season.

Question marks: With only 11 starters back, the Sooners have plenty. On top of the quarterback battle, OU must overhaul virtually the entire defense, with All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin the only returning impact defender. Defensive tackle and back safety are especially tenuous. The Sooners have only three defensive tackles on the roster to practice with at the moment, and no one other than Colvin has a down of experience at back safety. Mike Stoops will have to be creative just to get through the spring, until reinforcements arrive over the summer.

Don’t forget about: Wide receiver Trey Metoyer, who was the star of last spring as a true freshman. Metoyer, however, failed to carry that momentum into the fall, lost his starting job and eventually fell out of the rotation. A new year and new quarterback should re-energize Metoyer, who has all the tools to become a dominant outside receiver.

On the mend: Guards Tyler Evans and Nila Kasitati, who are both coming off season-ending knee injuries. Both, however, are hoping to be at least limited participants in the spring, which would spur them into summer workouts.

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