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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Oklahoma
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  A lot has changed for Theo Wease since he arrived at OU as a freshman in 2019. The redshirt junior wide receiver watched the other two wideouts in his class, Jadon Haselwood and Trejan Bridges, depart the program. Wease worked to become tied for the Sooners' top passing target as a sophomore in 2020. He watched his role get reduced to a sideline spectator after missing all of last season with a lower leg injury. But as OU prepares for the 2022 season, Wease takes pride in being one of the team's most experienced, battle-tested players. "I'm the older guy now, which is crazy to say," Wease said. "I remember when I was just a freshman. It's crazy how college works. Some of your teammates who are with you in January might be gone by April. But I'm still here, standing tall and ready to finish the mission."

Wease almost joined the list of departed Sooners. In an interview on The Podcast On The Prairie on March 9, Wease admitted that he nearly transferred to Ole Miss to join forces with Jeff Lebby, who was then the Rebels' offensive coordinator. But everything fell into place when Lebby was hired as OU's offensive coordinator last December. Now, Wease hopes to become a fixture in a system that he feels suits his playing style. "It's up-tempo and fast-paced," Wease said. "I just want to go out there, compete to the highest level that I know I can and compete to my full potential." - Daily Oklahoman


rJr/2024 WR Theo WeaseOklahoma
News Source: Daily Oklahoman
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  Hand-in-hand with the offensive tempo is the desire for Venables' defense - and though Ted Roof is the defensive coordinator, there's no doubt the defense is Venables' - to be aggressive about bringing pressure. That not only is about how much pressure they bring but from where. Defensive end Reggie Grimes said earlier this week he's being asked to do much more in the new scheme compared to what he did under Alex Grinch's system the last two seasons. The Sooners will bring pressure from plenty of different spots and angles as they figure to be much less predictable in that area than they had been in recent years. The defensive ends and linebackers, in particular, are being tasked to do more than they had to do previously, which figures to give defensive ends like Grimes and Ethan Downs and linebackers like DaShaun White and David Ugwoegbu, among others, more of a chance to shine. - Daily Oklahoman

Jr/2024 DE Reggie GrimesOklahoma
News Source: Daily Oklahoman
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  If it makes anyone feel better, Dillon Gabriel is not high among the quarterbacks listed in the myriad NFL Draft prospecti that flood the marketplace. Probably because Gabriel is 6-foot tall only on tippytoes. Not that being vertically challenged is an insurmountable curse. At the 2018 NFL Combine, Mayfield measured 5/8 of an inch over 6-foot. A year later, Murray measured 5-foot-10. Both went No. 1 in the draft. Gabriel is listed at 5-foot-11. "It's just something I was born with," Gabriel said Tuesday. "Can't control that one, right? But everything I do in the building and the way I work is what I can control, and just being really good at that, knowing I'm not 6-5, but shoot, I'm going to get it done whichever way I can."

Not to wish ill will on Gabriel's future, but the best-case scenario for OU football is that he has the kind of season Lebby predicted - unmatched production, leadership and experience - while NFL decision-makers worry about his height. Either way, the scouts won't likely doubt Gabriel's arm. "One of the greatest things Dillon does is throw the deep ball," Lebby said. "If you look at all of his throws on tape to his freshman and sophomore years and before he got hurt last year (at UCF), he can push the ball down the field. He's got great touch on it, understands how to get the ball out of his hand a little earlier if he needs to. That's a strength of his for sure." - Daily Oklahoman


rJr/2024 QB Dillon GabrielOklahoma
News Source: Daily Oklahoman
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  08/05/22 - Eric GrayrJr/2024, Oklahoma + More +

  Eric Gray figured to return to his star role at Tennessee for his junior season. But when head coach Jeremy Pruitt was fired in January 2021 following an in-house investigation into alleged recruiting improprieties, Gray entered the transfer portal and landed at OU. Gray was expected to be half of a two-headed monster alongside redshirt junior running back Kennedy Brooks, but the pairing proved to be lopsided. Brooks ran for a career-high 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns on 198 carries last season. Gray ran for a career-low 412 yards and a pair of scores on 78 carries. "Last year, I kind of just stayed in the background and didn't really say too much," Gray said Tuesday at the Sooners' media day. "I think it was more of me learning. I needed to learn to further my game mentally." One person who helped Gray stay the course was his father, Eric Gray Sr.

After playing running back at Tennessee State from 1985-87, the elder Eric stayed in the state and began coaching at the high school level. That included Lausanne High School, where Eric Jr. starred until he graduated in 2019. "I'm a coach's son, so I've seen so many players kind of do it the wrong way," Eric Jr. said. "I need to make sure I'm doing everything I can to succeed and make sure I'm not harming myself." So when Eric Jr. struggled to carve out a role last season, his father told him exactly what he needed to hear. "Just keep going," Eric Sr. told his son. "They can't keep a good man down. Keep playing and your time will come." - Daily Oklahoman


rJr/2024 RB Eric GrayOklahoma
News Source: Daily Oklahoman
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  2022 PRESEASON CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma, Junior DT,...Played in eight games and made seven starts in 2021 (did not start vs. Texas Tech)...missed West Virginia (9/25), Kansas State (10/2), Texas (10/9), TCU (10/16) and Kansas (10/23) games due to injury...missed five games due to injury...totaled 19 tackles (11 solo), 8.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and six QB hurries (second most on team). - Oklahoma Football

rJr/2024 DT Jalen RedmondOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  2022 PRESEASON PATRICK MANNELLY AWARD WATCHLIST: Kasey Kelleher, Oklahoma,...Has served as long snapper on all punts and and all but one place kick over the last four seasons...An Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection in 2021...played in all 13 games as the long snapper on punts and place kicks...made one tackle on a punt vs. West Virginia (9/25). - Oklahoma Football

rSr/2023 LS Kasey KelleherOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  2022 PRESEASON PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma,...An All-Big 12 honorable mention choice by league's head coaches...an Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree...played in all 13 games and made 11 starts (started each of the first 11 games)...led team with 705 yards on 32 receptions and had five touchdowns to rank as second most on squad...led Big 12 and ranked fourth nationally with his 22.0 yards per reception...also returned 10 punts for 69 yards and had two kickoff returns for 51 yards (including a team-best-tying 31-yard return). - Oklahoma Football

Jr/2024 WR Marvin MimsOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  2022 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF YEAR PLAYER TO WATCH: Dillon Gabriel, QB, junior, Oklahoma,...Gabriel, a transfer from UCF, has passed for 8,037 yards and 70 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions in his college career. He started 25 of his 26 games in three seasons at UCF, completing 60.7% of his passes and rushing for 372 yards and eight touchdowns. The Mililani, Hawaii, product threw at least one touchdown pass in all 26 games, at least two TD passes in 20 contests and at least four in seven outings. His 156.9 passing efficiency rating since start of 2019 season is seventh best nationally among quarterbacks who played each of the last three years (25 games minimum). He played in three games last season before missing the rest of the campaign due to injury. - Oklahoma Football

rJr/2024 QB Dillon GabrielOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  2022 PRESEASON RAY GUY WATCHLIST: Michael Turk - Oklahoma,...Moved around, beginning college at Lafayette in 2017, moving to Arizona State in 2018 (redshirted) and 2019 when he was a Ray Guy Award semifinalist … earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors … played in all 13 games and punted 67 times for 3,082 yards (46.0 average) … 23 punts traveled at least 50 yards, 36 were downed inside the 20-yard line (54.2 percent), 22 were fair caught and seven resulted in touchbacks … At ASU in 2020, he was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection ... played in all four of team's games during COVID-shortened season … posted a career-high 47.2 yards-per-punt average (661 yards on 14 punts).

Five went for at least 50 yards (long of 58) and six were downed inside the 20-yard line … averaged 41.5 yards on four punts at Oregon State (12/29) … Last season at Oklahoma, Turk was an All-Big 12 First Team selection (coaches and AP) … played in 11 games (team did not punt vs. Tulane or Kansas State … averaged 51.2 yards on 35 punts … 20 punts went for at least 50 yards and eight went for at least 60 … 16 punts were downed inside 20-yard line … holds five of the top 14 single-game punting averages (minimum three punts) in Oklahoma history (including the best and third-best marks -- 59.7 vs. TCU and 58.0 vs. Texas. - Oklahoma Football


rSr/2023 P Michael TurkOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  2022 PRESEASON BUTKUS AWARD WATCHLIST: David Ugwoegbu, Oklahoma,...An Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree in 2021 … played in all 13 games and made four starts … started vs. Tulane (9/4), Western Carolina (9/11), Baylor (11/13) and in Alamo Bowl win vs. Oregon (12/29) … totaled 49 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. - Oklahoma Football

rJr/2024 ILB David UgwoegbuOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  2022 PRESEASON OUTLAND TROPHY WATCHLIST: OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma,...Played in all 13 games in 2021 ... his 12 starts came at left tackle...Played in nine games at left tackle in 2021… only games he did not play were season opener vs. Missouri State (9/12) and vs. No. 14 Oklahoma State (11/21). - Oklahoma Football

Jr/2024 OT Anton HarrisonOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  In his first season in Norman, Ethan Downs appeared in all 13 games, with 14 tackles, three for loss, and a forced fumble. It wasn't a bad start to his Sooners career at all, but most everyone associated with OU football is expecting much more out of him as a sophomore - including Downs. "I feel more dangerous this year," Downs said. "I feel capable of making an impact." That's a big reason why Downs was one of two defensive players chosen by Venables to represent OU recently at Big 12 Media Days. Downs was one of just two sophomores to take part in the event. Downs was the first sophomore to represent the Sooners at the event since linebacker Kenneth Murray in 2018.

"It's about the work they put in, the consistency of the last seven months," Venables said of why he chose Downs. "It's about the buy-in, the buy-in to the culture, the work they put in, the leadership. It's about how you play. I bet you there's not any third-team guys here right, right? It's earning the right to be here...He's earned that opportunity." Downs has embraced his newfound role among the Sooners' defensive leaders. "I've grown a lot," he said. "I've gained a lot of experience, I have more clarity of mind, I have more confidence in my actions, and that's what's enabled me to take a leadership role - not the leadership role, but a leadership role amongst my peers to hold people accountable to the standard." - Daily Oklahoman


So/2025 DE Ethan DownsOklahoma
News Source: Daily Oklahoman
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  2022 PRESEASON JOHN MACKEY AWARD WATCH LIST: BRAYDEN WILLIS, OKLAHOMA,...Willis played in all 13 games in 2021...his eight starts came over last nine contests...had 15 receptions for 177 yards (11.8 per catch) and two touchdowns...also played on multiple special teams units and made two tackles in punt coverage. - Oklahoma Football

rSr/2023 FB Brayden WillisOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  07/23/22 - Eric GrayrJr/2024, Oklahoma + More +

  2022 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATE: Eric Gray (Sr.), Oklahoma,...After two season at Tennessee, Running back Erick Gray (5-10, 211) played in all 13 games last year for Oklahoma. He started season's first five contests … rushed for 412 yards and two touchdowns ... had 23 receptions for 229 yards and two TDs … rushed eight times for 82 yards — including a season-long 48-yard run — and caught a team-high five passes for 25 yards and a TD in the Alamo Bowl vs. Oregon (12/29) . - Oklahoma Football

rJr/2024 RB Eric GrayOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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  2022 PRESEASON BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma,...Mims has led team in receiving yards each of his first two seasons...has caught 69 passes for 1,315 yards (19.1 average) and 14 touchdowns...has returned 23 punts for 231 yards (10.0 average) and three kickoffs for 70 yards (23.3 average). - Oklahoma Football

Jr/2024 WR Marvin MimsOklahoma
News Source: Oklahoma Football
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