Sooners notebook: Defense shines in scrimmage

By Michael Kinney

NORMAN — One of the biggest moments in an athletes life is when they find out they have earned a full scholarship to their dream school. For most young men and women, that takes place in high school.

However, for Myles Tease, the moment came a week before he started his redshirt senior season at Oklahoma.

“Just knowing that my school is taken care of and I don’t have to worry about when I’m going t pay this or pay that, that’s just a blessing right there,” Tease said.

The former Booker T Washington and UCO football player was a walk-on for the Sooners. Last year the 5-foot-9, 171-pound wideout played in 13 games and accounted for two catches for 51 yards. That includes a 46 yard touchdown catch against West Virginia.

Tease put in the work in the offseason and was awarded a full scholarship back in June. It was a huge releif for him and his family.

“I was excited. I am kind of a laid back person, but I was kind of excited. I was just like relieved. I just felt like all the hard work I had done paid off. It was just amazing to see that I could do something like this and it pay off. It’s like inspiration to other people that you can come out here and bet on yourself to do better and just take somebody else’s job.”

Defense had the edge in the first scrimmage

Riley and several of the offensive players admitted that the defense owned the first intra-squad scrimmage from this week as the offense struggled.

“Overall, defensively, I thought we played really well the entire day. Limited the offense in a lot of ways. I thought we played pretty smart with the conditions. Really tackled well. Offensively, it was a little hit or miss. We had some really nice plays, but our guys left a bunch out there.  Our guys responded a little bit today. The roles kind of reversed today. The offense got the better of the defense.”

Riley spotlighted the play of several defenders from the scrimmage.

“Isaiah Thomas I thought had a really nice scrimmage,” Riley said. “He’s starting to grow up and really play well. Our backers, as a whole, played well. Kenneth (Murray), Caleb (Kelly), Curtis (Bolton), DaShaun White, those guys are all doing some nice things. Miguel Edwards had a really nice play in the secondary. He continues to improve from coming in midterm.”

Kennedy Brooks was the only offensive player Riley mentioned when it came to who had a strong scrimmage. The 5-11, 205-pound redshirt freshman is doing more than just running the ball with power.

“Offensively, Kennedy Brooks had a really nice scrimmage,” Riley said. “Really did some good things in all three different phases for the backs.”

QB battle…Murray & Kendall running neck and neck.

“There is still no timeline. I still haven’t seen a ton of separation,” Riley said. “They are both playing well. Today they both had a couple of the best days that they’ve had. Both have been trending well here as of late. The last four or five practices have probably been both of their bests. They are taking advantage of it. We’re not repping the 3s and 4s quite as much anymore. Eventually, you’re going to get to game week and have to do something by then. We will certainly do something before the first game.”

Centers also in a tight battle

“That is the best competition out there. They are two really good players. It’s going to be tough,” Riley said. “That one is going to be really tough. Both are talented enough, both are skilled enough. Creed Humphrey is probably the most talented of the group and obviously, Alvarez is the most experienced. It’s a pretty interesting dynamic. You can tell each one has kind of worked hard on their weaknesses within this competition. Alvarez has really transformed his body. He is in the best shape he’s ever been in. And Creed has really done a ton of work mentally. The good thing right now is don’t see a big difference. We tend to move well with both of them in there. It’s a heck of a battle.”

Riley didn’t rule out rotating centers.

“We’re in a unique position here,” Riley said. “We can interchange them right now and really don’t even notice a difference.  So, if there was ever a situation where you could, this might be it.”

Calcaterra takes on new role.

Last year Grant Calcaterra had the opportunity to learn from Mark Andrews before he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. Now, as the elder statesmen among tight ends, it’s Calcaterra who has taken on the mentor role with it comes to freshman Brayden Willis.

“I’ve tried to help him a lot, as much as I can. Just kind of how Mark (Andrews) helped me,” Calcaterra said. “If he has any questions or anything or something that he’s doing or not doing, I’ll try and help him out, give him some tips here and there. Try to be a mentor for him as well.”

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Writer with

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