Head coach Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners football team arrived at Big 12 Media Days and fielded questions from the media all day on Tuesday about the upcoming season.
The first thing Stoops emphasized is the veteran leadership he will be counting on in the 2011 NCAA college football season, specifically Travis Lewis, Ryan Mallet and Landry Jones, who appeared at the Big 12 Media Days with their coach.
One of the first questions was about how Coach Stoops and the team dealt with the loss of Austin Box, who died during the offseason.
“There’s no words that truly can describe how you hurt and how the players hurt,” Stoops said. “Austin was a great, great spirit in the locker room. Everybody — he was a friend to everybody, and he’s one of those special characters, a young person that everybody loved to see. So you miss that. And it doesn’t go away. So, again, there’s no really proper way to describe it. So we’re still working through it.”
There were some questions about Roy Finch being left off the depth chart in the first projected rankings and Stoops was asked about replacing DeMarco Murray in the offense.
“We have to really replace him by committee,” Stoops said. “But that’s okay. And I feel this way that last year we snapped the ball more than anybody in the country. So there’s a lot of snaps there. And I don’t see any of these guys have the physical presence at this point and maturity to play 45, 50 snaps like DeMarco could. So we’ll divide it up.”
Finally, he was asked about the new rookie pay scale in the NFL post-lockout and if he thought that would keep kids in school longer.
“Seems like it’s only going to affect maybe the first half or so of the first round, right,” Stoops said. “I don’t know that it will a whole lot because, again, those are usually only a few guys. Guys like Roy Williams asked me that when it was his time. I told Roy, I said, I felt you’re too good for what we’re doing. He said he was bored. I said, This isn’t challenging enough for you. And I thought Roy would be a top 10 pick. I said, Hey, you ought to go.”
The Oklahoma Sooners football season begins on September 3, 2011 with a home game against Tulsa.
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