Football season is officially upon us. As OU kicks off in 18 days, Dave and Rives have the latest from practice.
Inching closer and closer to Arkansas State on September 2nd, there was a different vibe around the team at practice this week. Though we only view the first forty or so minutes of open practice, the intensity level felt like a midseason football team.
Dave got the chance to speak with DL Isaiah Coe, who continued to hype up the mantra of “competitive depth.” While this term has been thrown at us by everyone associated with the program this offseason, it may be for good reason.
OU comes into 2023 boasting more defensive line depth than they’ve had in a long time. Coe, Terry, Downs and others have been the hot names through our sources, but the depth does not even come close to stopping there.
Wake Forest transfer Rondell Bothroyd figures to play a huge role coming off the edge. Venables has to love the experience he developed last year, being the defensive leader on a very good Wake Forest team.
Reggie Grimes II was one of the more hyped up Sooners heading into last season. He responded with a strong start to the season, but fizzled out and did not have a large impact down the line.
If OU can get five to seven sacks out of a guy like Grimes, the sky is the limit for this D-line. Freshman PJ Adebawore fits into the picture somewhere too. He is a player Dave and I believe could turn into a first round pick in a few years.
The last DL worth noting is Trace Ford, transfer from Oklahoma State. Ford received a lot of backlash for the decision to flip his allegiance and go to OU. The decision has been a driving force for him throughout the offseason.
Whispers out of practice say that he is one of the more motivated players on the roster. Ford wants to prove he is still one of the elite pass rushers in the conference, despite a plethora of injuries the past two seasons.
While Dave was with the lineman, Rives got a chance to speak with another highly touted transfer.
Andrel Anthony played sparingly at Michigan last season, but feels OU is a place where he can cement himself as an NFL receiver. Anthony has game changing speed down the field, but notes he is working on becoming a complete receiver.
“I wanna become the ultimate teammate, whatever the team needs. I’m not the most vocal person, but the coaches have really been telling me to step up. I remember being a younger player, and when an older would come help me I really respected it.”
The talent is obvious with Anthony. The scoop from the scrimmage that took place over the week told us Antony had “multiple touchdowns” over 40 yards.
As the Sooners look to replace its lone deep threat last season in Marvin Mims, Coach Lebby will need multiple receivers to step up and take initiative.
Anthony gave an interesting response when Rives asked him if there needs to be a defined #1 guy in the OU receiver room.
“We all can contribute in different ways. Whether this practice someone might step up, or this game someone might step up, I believe we all have each others backs and all trust we can get the job done.”
In past years, OU has usually found its #1 guy at reciever at some point in the season. Whether you go all the way back to Sterling Shepard and Ryan Broiles, or more recent examples like CeeDee Lamb and Hollywood Brown, the recipe for success seems to be someone in the room sticking out.
It remains to be seen if that will happen with OU in 2023. For now, they have a lot of talent at receiver, but it’s time to find out who the real studs are.
Lastly, we ended practice with a wholesome moment between Andrel Anthony and Reggie Pearson.
Dave and Rives also did a video recap of what they learned from practice this week. That can be viewed here.
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