June 11, 2009

Sooner commits steal camps spotlight

NORMAN, Okla. - During Oklahoma's first one-day camp there were a ton of storylines to follow from new names emerging to established prospects building on their reputations or a player committed elsewhere pulling a surprisingly taking part in Oklahoma's camp.

However, in what seems to be a building trend for Sooner camps Oklahoma played host to four of their current 11 commitments during the midweek camp and none of them were bigger than Oklahoma's potential future quarterback, and the nation's No. 88 overall player, Blake Bell of Wichita (Kan.) Bishop Carroll.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound signal caller took part in Oklahoma's camp last summer and struggled with the unbelievable winds on the day. After some self-admitted difficulties at an Elite 11 camp in Athens, Ga. earlier this spring some began to wonder if camps situations simply weren't his forte'. While it would be hard to deny that his strength is when the lights go on Friday night it's also hard to find a flaw in his performance on Wednesday.

Bell showed consistent mechanics and even during basic stretching drills put a nice spin on the ball and seemed to focus on making an impression upon all those who were watching.

One player who expects to watch a lot of Bell passes come his way is Cibolo (Texas) Steele three-star wide receiver Sheldon McClain who recently joined the ranks of the Sooner commitment list. The 6-foot-2, 174-pound pass-catcher was solid on Tuesday but seemed ready to take his game to a new level with the presence of Bell and a couple of elite junior quarterbacks.

Though he was unable to show off his trademark jumping ability he did a great job in simply running good routes and seemed to do well in getting comfortable with Bell early on.

They may have been on an entirely separate side of the field from the Sooner skill position commits there is no denying the connection between Bell, McClain, and offensive linemen Tyrus Thompson and Bronson Irwin.

Interestingly for the offensive linemen the connection seems to end there as Thompson continues to try and bulk up and become a more physical presence while Irwin is working on slimming himself up a bit and continue to work on overall footwork.

So far both are having real success in reaching their goals.

Thompson still has a lot to learn as an offensive lineman but his raw athletic ability is impossible to deny and makes him a very realistic left tackle of the future for offensive line coach James Patton. Thompson's feet are nearly unparalleled naturally but much like current Sooner Cory Brandon will have to work on adding needed weight before he is ready for the college game.

As for Irwin his goal to trim up a bit this off-season so far seems like a massive success. He has lost roughly 15-pounds and looks quicker on his feet for it. He still may end up as a guard at the college level but has a chance to be a right tackle in college if he continues to show off the athletic ability that he displayed on Wednesday.

One thing that hasn't changed for Irwin is that if he gets his hands on the defender, the battle is already over before it's begun.

In-State Stars Hoping to make an Impression

It seems odd that aside from Irwin the only in-state player on campus in Norman with an offer was actually 2011 prospect Josh Turner of Oklahoma City Millwood.

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