2018-04-15 sp-springgame

Running back Kennedy Brooks (right) runs through a tackle by Jon-Michael Terry during Oklahoma’s spring game Saturday. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Ian Maule/ Tulsa World
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Three things we learned following the spring football game

The quarterback battle will roll into the fall

I received the following text message on Saturday night: “People don’t realize there’s more than one athletic QB on the team.” Austin Kendall proved a dimension of his game that we’ve rarely seen – his ability to scramble. While Kendall joined Kyler Murray throwing the football in horrible wind conditions, it was easy to recognize that neither have separated themselves and this battle will roll into fall camp. There’s nothing wrong with that – both understand the importance of off-season workouts and competition will make both better over the next 3-4 months.

Kennedy Brooks' breakout performance

A shoulder injury sidelined the running back during his first season on campus. After the redshirt and rehabilitation, Brooks displayed the quickness and elusiveness that allowed him to be such a highly regarded prospect during the 2017 recruiting cycle. Brooks had a 50-yard run during the second half of the game and also added two catches for 22 yards. Brooks has likely nudged himself higher in a running backs room that includes Rodney Anderson, Trey Sermon, T.J. Pledger and Marcelias Sutton.

Best quote of the weekend came from a coach’s wife

There was so much going on this weekend with the spring game, a recruiting weekend that included seven commitments (as of Sunday night) and the Bob Stoops statue ceremony. On Friday night, during a celebration for Stoops, the statue was displayed in front of guests and at least 100 former players. As the Stoops family took the stage, Bob Stoops asked his wife to say a few words. “There is no statue if not for you,” Carol Stoops said while looking at the former players. “It happens to look like Bobby, but it’s you.”

Game balls

Kennedy Brooks: The redshirt freshman finished with 109 rushing yards and 22 receiving yards.

Grant Calcaterra: The sophomore tight end and expected replacement for Mark Andrews ended with a game-high 59 receiving yards on three catches including a 25-yard touchdown reception in overtime.

Levi Draper: A redshirt freshman who missed last season with a shoulder injury had a solid return to the field with a game-high eight tackles from his linebacker slot.

Brendan Radley-Hiles: An early enrollee, he showed off why he was drawing praise from coaches during spring drills with an outstanding spring game.

Still pondering these things …

What’s going to happen at quarterback?

Austin Kendall and Kyler Murray will have all summer to concentrate on the vacant quarterback spot. Both have been on campus for the same amount of time and both learned how to lead an offense from Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. That blueprint is a good one.

Will the defense be better next season?

Several contributors didn’t take part in the spring game including linebackers Caleb Kelly and Kenneth Murray, two of the Sooners’ top playmakers on defense last season. What will fall camp be like when they return along with a healthy Jordan Parker at cornerback?.

Will OU’s recruits stay on board for the next eight months?

Oklahoma’s recruiting weekend was one of the strongest perhaps in history with both the number of commitments as well as the quality. Lincoln Riley went all in with inviting many to the spring game for their lone official visit to Norman. It paid off this weekend. What about during the early signing period in December?

By the numbers

7: Commitments through early Sunday night.

20: Combined tackles by Levi Draper, Jon-Michael Terry and Ryan Jones, the three top leading tacklers who are also underclassmen.

29: Touchdown run yardage by OU Children’s Hospital patient James Woods in a special moment.

52,102: Announced attendance of Saturday’s spring game

Final word

The Sooners have one final practice this spring on Tuesday before targeting the 2018 season opener against visiting Florida Atlantic on Sept. 1.

Eric Bailey

918-581-8391

eric.bailey@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

This article originally ran on tulsaworld.com.

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