August 24, 2010

Stoops not settled at placekicker

Oklahoma still has concerns heading into the season opener at the place kicking position. Bob Stoops announced on Tuesday evening the Sooners will hold open tryouts for walk-on kickers, as well as other positions.

But it's clear Stoops' is still not pleased with his group of placekickers less than two weeks from the season opener against Utah State.

"There isn't anybody who has nailed it down," said Stoops when asked about his kicking competition on Tuesday. "They're fine at times and then they won't be."

Stoops is trying to decide between returning starter Jimmy Stevens, Patrick O'Hara, who took over for Stevens midway through last season, and walk-on kickers Michael Hunnicutt and Bryce Easley.

Stevens hit 11-of-13 field goal attempts a year ago, but his longest field goal of 2009 was just 39 yards. Stevens missed a 45-yard attempt late in the first quarter against Texas in a game the Sooners lost 16-13.

That paved the way for Patrick O'Hara to take over field goal duties on longer kicks the rest of the season. He completed the season making 6-of-9 field goals with a long of 47 yards.

Stoops has said he would go with a two kicker system for short and long field goals. But Stevens doesn't even appear to be a shoe-in for the shorter distances so far in camp.

"It depends on what okay for you is," Stoops replied when asked if Stevens has been okay on short field goal situations. "When you lose two games by one point and a game by three points, it's not nearly good enough.

"Bryce (Easley) has been the least consistent. Patrick still has the biggest leg from any big distance. The other guys are still working on it."

Stoops had been complimentary of Hunnicutt last week, but he's still looking for more from the freshman walk-on.

"I do (still like Hunnicutt)," he said. "He's in it. All those guys are still working on it."

Stoops will hold the open walk-on tryouts on Thursday.

Placekicking isn't Stoops only concern. He's also looking for someone to take over the kickoff duties since two-year starter Matt Mooreland is no longer with the team due to academic issues.

"Tress Way and Michael Hunnicutt are the best right now," said Stoops. "Patrick's not too bad. Bryce is in it but he hasn't been where they have or as consistent."

MADU OUT FOR OPENER

Bob Stoops also announced his recently named backup running back, Mossis Madu, will not be available for the season opener against Utah State.

"He will miss the first game," said Stoops.

Madu was charged with driving under the influence back on July 24th. Madu's blood alcohol content registered at 0.19, over twice the legal limit.

Madu plead guilty to a DUI misdemeanor charge on Aug. 3rd. According to Cleveland County Court records Madu was place on one-year probation and paid a $430 fine.

With Madu suspended, Jermie Calhoun will likely serve as the top backup to starter Demarco Murray. But Stoops said on Tuesday that running backs coach Cale Gundy has yet to make that determination.

CAPTAINS NAMED

Oklahoma team members named defensive end Jeremy Beal, linebacker Travis Lewis and quarterback Landry Jones as team captains.

"They were by far and away the top vote getters," said Stoops.

Jones lands a captain's tag after a strong offseason. Even though he's a sophomore, Stoops said he doesn't feel it's an uncommon honor. In fact, it's becoming more and more commonplace over the last two years.

"We've had Gerald McCoy, we've had Sam (Bradford). We've had a bunch of sophomores, so it's not that unusual."


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