Keeping send in your questions. We'll get rolling in a sec...
Hi Jake,Thank you again for doing these chats, they help me catch up on my favorite team. My question is o a predictive nature. Do you think just having the fall will be enough for Neal, Sterling, Woods and Gardner to run the right routes/understand the playcalls? Think we will still be able to run the hurry-up, or will we have some seriously confused wrs? haha
No problem, Eli. It's a really good question. Fortunately, WR is not the most complicated position for a true freshman to learn. Others like QB, LB are much tougher. So the hurry-up will still be a big part of the OU offense. I still expect there to be a learning curve -- let's face it, they're going to mess up at times starting out. Fortunately for the Sooners, the tougher portion of the schedule is in November, and by then the young WRs should have their feet under them.
what are the options for WR now since three have been released from OU. who do you believe will step up?
Trey Metoyer and Kenny Stills along with either Courtney Garder/Durron Neal/Sterling Shepard/Bester in the starting lineup. The three that don't start will play a lot.
Should I retire now, or try to dominate the league for a few more years?
Tim Duncan is still a pretty good player. I see no reason why you should retire, especially with the Spurs capable of making another run in the next 1-2 years.
Who will have the most impact on the defensive side of the ball this season?
In other words, who will be OU's best defensive player? I'll go with Tony Jefferson, just ahead of CBs Demontre Hurst and Aaron Colvin. The secondary should be one of Stoops' best. Should be.
How do you see the Sooners using Trey Millard this year? More of a blocker or a runner?
Why not both? Millard averaged two carries a game last season. If I was calling the plays, that number would be like 5. He averaged 7 yards a carry. Obviously his forte is blocking, and he's one of the best blocking fullbacks in the country. You have to use him that way. But I give him the ball more than twice a game.
Do you see any of the freshmen making an impact on kick off returns? Just havn't seen special teams being a factor in so long!
I could see both Shepard and Neal making a difference. In Franks and Broyles, the Sooners lose their two best return men from last season. I would give Sterling every opportunity to handle punts. Seems like a natural fit for him.
when they going to start the new Soonersports TV deal/package?
The goal is this fall, but the clock is ticking. We were actually just talking about this very thing today. You'll be seeing an update from us about the network in the next few days.
Hey Jake. Many around the Mountain State feel the Big 12 title could come down to WVU and OU. What do you think will be the keys to the game for both teams? Thanks
I married into a family that is half Buckeye/half Mountaineer, and they're already chirping about the same thing. I agree, but don't let them know I think that. As for the early keys, I predict they will be: 1) How does OU handle the hostile atmosphere; 2) How does the OU secondary deal with Holgersen's scheme; 3) Which QB plays better.
Is Landry Jones already working out with the new receivers this summer?
Yes, and from what I've been told, Landry has been very impressed, and has been getting in extra work with them. Trey Metoyer continues to stand out, and it seems Landry likes what he sees from Sterling Shepard, too.
What is your assessment of the current WR commits? I saw the article on the front page. Are any of these guys gamechangers?
For 2013? I wouldn't call Bennett or Smallwood "game-changers" at the level of a Trey Metoyer. But you need role-type receivers to surround your No. 1 guys, and Smallwood/Bennett seem to have the potential to fit those roles perfectly. Ask OSU how valuable Josh Cooper was last season. Sooners need more guys like Josh Cooper.
Do you see Coach Heupel growing into a more effective offensive coordinator this year now that he has a season under his belt?
No question. He's going to get better. Granted, the OSU game plan was a disaster, but under Heupel OU still finished in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense without its leading rusher and leading receiver finishing the season.
With the defensive ends having no gamechangers. Do the Linebackers need to be more involved in getting to the QB? I know Corey Nelson had 5.5 sacks last year and could you see him being close to double digit sacks this year, maybe a smaller Von Miller for us?
Corey Nelson is not Von Miller, but I could definitely see Mike Stoops using Nelson as a rush end. OU wanted to do some of that last year until Travis Lewis broke his toe and Nelson had to move to weak-side linebacker full time. Whatever it takes, Mike Stoops is going to pressure the QB, whether that includes running the Endy package, bringing LBs, safeties or even corners.
Who is likely to be All Big XII First team on the defensive side of the ball? Are there any darkhorses on D?
Tony Jefferson and either Aaron Colvin or Demontre Hurst. RJ Washington is a dark horse. He could be primed for a breakout year (and OU could really use that, too). Tom Wort would be the other candidate. You want an extreme darkhorse? How about sophomore DT Jordan Phillips. He could be an All-Big 12 tackle in time. It happening this year is a stretch.
Do you think Will Latu will crack the starting O-line?
Not to begin the year. He's probably too far behind Lane Johnson/Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams -- plus the OU staff feels good about those three guys. If any of the three struggled or got hurt, you could see Latu getting a shot, though, later in the season.
Any new information on the Sooners recruitment of defensive ends Joe Mathis and Torredney Prevot?
Those are big names... every top program in the country is recruiting those guys. I've heard Prevot could commit as early as next month, and his favorites are still OU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Cal, USC and Oregon.
How are all the new TE's coming along? Will the offense use less TE's this season than normal?
Hard for OU to use the TEs less than it did last season. OU only got 37 catches total from James Hanna and Trent Ratterree. Can't see the tandem of Green/McNamara getting more than 37 catches this season.
Do we have a shot at Hunter Henry? The chance to play early is definitely available to him in Norman?
Yeah, OU has a shot, and an offer out. But it won't be easy plucking one of the best TEs in the nation out of SEC country.
Does Boneman wish he was a little bit taller? Does he wish he was a baller? If he had a girl who looked good, would he call her?
A high school girlfriend of mine loved that song and used to play it all the time.
Where will Broken Arrow RB Devon Thomas sign in a couple years?
No idea... that's two years away.
I'm a nasty disgrace... but I'm surely not the first villain to grace the college football landscape... Who are the most notable "villains" you can recall from the annals of our beloved sport? They probably didn't do what I did, but I bet they did something dastardly and dirty...
I can't think of anyone on Sandusky's level in the history of college sports.
The More I think on it the more convinced I am that even though the WR's are new we look very solid Offensively!! The RB's and O-line. Defensively I believe Stoops will make things happen!! My question is will Coach Stoops look to improve on Special teams and will he implement some trick plays this year? Thanks!
When was the last time OU successfully ran a trick play? I remember the fake punt in 2008 that backfired against Texas. The fake field goal in 2010 at Texas A&M that was dropped. OU has tried the trick plays on special teams, they just haven't worked like they did early in the Stoops era. They'll have stuff in the holster for the season... it's just a question of whether they can execute them.
Do you envision Josh Heupel leaving OU in the next 2 - 4 years for a head coaching job? If so, any early predictions on who will coach our gunslingers and call our plays?
It's possible that Heupel leaves, but I'm betting he doesn't. Stoops isn't going to coach forever, and I could see Heupel angling to be his successor.
My little brother Mack and I were discussing the plight of Tim Kish... In your esteemed opinion, do you think he'll ultimately impress at OU or is he in over his head?
We're not talking about a 28-year-old guy in his first coaching gig. Kish has been around for a long time, and has built a really strong reputation. There was a reason that Arizona promoted Kish to interim head coach after Mike Stoops was fired last year. How can we evaluate the guy after only 4 months on the job??
How do you see the RB rotation working out? Will we see Williams at all?
A healthy Whaley will be the starter. After that, I see Williams, Clay and Finch all getting spot carries to start out, with Cale Gundy also going with the hot hand, too, and Clay and Finch getting time in the slot and as jet backs.
Jerry Tubbs, one of OU's greatest players, recently passed away... Did you have the pleasure of meeting him? If so, do you care to share any thoughts?
No, never got to interview him. Jerry had been in poor health the last few years, so that just wasn't feasible. But if you ever get to check out Jim Dent's Undefeated, there are some pretty good anecdotes about Jerry and his time at Breckenridge High School. The legend always was that Tubbs never lost a game in high school or college. A good story. But not true. He lost a whole three times in high school. But never at OU.
Guys, that's all the time we have for the chat this week. We'll do it again next Monday, same time, same place. Only a month away from Big 12 media days. Have a great week.