August 17, 2006

Big 12 Notes: OU passing game looking sharp

A quick look at the latest news out of the Big 12 from around the Rivals.com Network:

Big 12 North Practice Reports
Colorado: Wes Palazzi is one of three true freshman who have worked their way into the two-deep rotation. Palazzi is currently the backup at left guard behind veteran Brian Daniels.
Iowa State: Week two of camp started with running back Jason Harris switching sides of the ball to defensive back. Now coaches are also talking about using the versatile sophomore for reps at the 'sam' linebacker position as well. Senior Ryan Baum and sophomore R.J. Sumrall are the contenders to be Iowa State's punt returner in 2006.
Kansas: Coming into fall camp, Blake Bueltel had a pretty firm grip on a starting cornerback spot. That has changed during practice with both Michael McCoy and Raymond Brown seeing significant reps at the position. The sleeper for the position would be true freshman Anthony Webb, a four-star recruit from Texas.
Kansas State: Following the transfers of QBs Allen Webb and Allan Evridge, the competition for the starting job is a two-man race between senior Dylan Meier and freshman Josh Freeman. Meier has been getting the majority of first-team snaps in practice, but Freeman has been more impressive.
Missouri: With receiver Jason Ray still being held out of practice, junior Greg Bracey took reps with the first-team offense on Thursday. Bracey looked impressive running with the first team and made a juggling catch that drew some applause. Tailback Tony Temple looked impressive during drills and put a crushing hit on linebacker Dedrick Harrington.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers lost starting corner Zackary Bowman for the season when he tore his ACL. Tuesday they had another scare when inside linebacker Steve Octavien was hospitalized. Octavian's appendix acted up but didn't burst, meaning he should still be ready for the season opener.
Big 12 South Practice Reports
Baylor: The team has not been practicing in full pads because of the heat. Wednesday was the first time the offensive and defensive units faced off against scout teams. Brandon Stiggers made a nice interception of Shawn Bell, who was being pressured by Maurice Linguist.
Oklahoma: The Sooners had their second scrimmage of the fall on Wednesday. Starting wideout Malcolm Kelly, who missed Saturday's scrimmage, returned Wednesday and made a number of big plays. Kelly's return may have a lot to do with the progression of quarterback Paul Thompson. Thompson struggled in Saturday's scrimmage, but coaches said he threw the ball well on Wednesday.
Oklahoma State: After a disappointing Monday practice, the offense bounced back to have a good day on Tuesday. One thing that will certainly help the offense is the looming return of starting wideout Anthony Parks. Parks participated in drills Tuesday. He and fellow receiver Jeremy Broadway are the Cowboys' only two significant injuries so far this fall.
Texas: Tarell Brown had a huge hit on Jermichael Finley during a scrimmage. Finley held on to the ball. Michael Griffin has been assuming the leadership role that Michael Huff and Cedric Griffin shared last year. The kicking game continues to be a question mark for the Longhorns this fall. Hunter Lawrence is being called upon to handle the place-kicking duties.
Texas A&M: The Aggies had two key injuries in Tuesday's practice. The injuries suffered by starting linebackers Mark Dodge and Justin Warren are not as serious as coaches and trainers had first feared. Dodge had an MRI Wednesday that revealed no structural damage and both players should be ready for the team's opener Sept. 2 against the Citadel.
Texas Tech: This week has started to reveal some separation in the Red Raider quarterback competition. Sophomore Graham Harrell continues to make incredible plays while redshirt freshman Chris Todd has struggled with interceptions and batted passes. Similarly, freshman Baron Batch has started to separate himself in the running back race. Sophomore Shannon Woods and freshman Kobey Lewis are playing well, but Batch is playing better.

(Compiled by Brandon Castel, Rivals.com)

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