With the second week of fall camp underway, Dave and Rives were able to make it to practice this morning to give you the latest on team #129.
Despite a brief rain shower and nearly stepping on a rattle snake, OU football was taking place and the storylines were writing themselves.
We started by viewing the QB room. While it was very basic drills, Jackson Arnold continues to impress everyone involved with the program. In one drill, Jeff Lebby had the QB’s in a roll out scenario moving to the left, attempting cross-body throws to the underneath tight end.
While this isn’t necessarily a difficult drill, nailing down the correct footwork is what Lebby was looking for. Backups Davis Beville and General Booty went back to back, both displaying false steps in their footwork. Coach Lebby immediately had the two view Arnold’s rep, who completed the drill perfectly.
OU isn’t going to throw Arnold into the fire right off the bat. In the same breath, however, Arnold appears to have the intangibles to start right away.
We next ventured over to the linebacker group, which is one of the most anticipated positions heading into the 2023 campaign.
The first thing that stuck out to the crew was Jaren Kanak, specifically going first in every linebacker drill. While this could easily be a big nothing-burger, it still caught our attention considering how much praise players like Danny Stutsman and Kobie McKinzie have been given this offseason.
During player availability, we asked Kanak if going first in drills is something he strives for.
“It’s something Schmitty has instilled in us, he said you always wanna be that guy in the front of the line, leading and setting the tone for the team.”
Walking around today, it was hard not to notice the improved size across the team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive line is the obvious group that has gained size, now claiming six players over 300 pounds.
Going back to the linebackers, the new improved size across the board with this group was quite a sight to see. Dasan McCullough and Kobie McKinzie are “catch your eye from a mile away” type guys. Jaren Kanak has gained 15 pounds over the offseason as well.
Another linebacker catching steam is Ferris State transfer Konnor Near. Sitting at 6″2, 235 pounds he will add much needed depth to a position group that lacked it this past year.
Despite this gain in mass, these players looked very smooth and fluid in their drills.
While everyone will be asking all offseason which of these linebackers will ultimately get starting jobs, this sentiment is pretty overblown. In a Brent Venables led defense, all of these players will get an opportunity to play.
Who will make the most of that opportunity? We’re going to have to wait till September 2nd to answer that.
The last practice note was the initial absence of running back Gavin Sawchuk, who figures to play a huge role in the Sooners backfield this year.
Though Sawchuk was missing initially, he was made available for the player interviews. OC Jeff Lebby said he practiced earlier, so it appears there is nothing to fear along that front.
Considering fellow running back Javontae Barnes has been dealing with an injury this offseason, it’s safe to say the staff is being careful with its running back depth.
Follow along with 107.7 The Franchise as we will be going to practice all season long. We are the flagship station for Sooner Sports.