Lessons learned: OU at Big 12 media days

DALLAS -- The Sooners had their turn at Big 12 media days Tuesday. Here are five things we learned:

1. Starting quarterback to be named later

On the opening question of his press conference, coach Bob Stoops took issue with a reporter assuming Blake Bell would be named OU’s starting quarterback.

“You're kind of making assumptions if you think he's the guy right now,” Stoops said. “We've got a number of guys in the competition.”

Stoops waited until the week before the opener before naming Sam Bradford the starting quarterback in 2007. He hinted that he would follow a similar formula this preseason.

“We’ve never been real excited,” Stoops said, “about naming a guy too early.”

2. The offensive pace could be slowed

Since 2008, the Sooners have featured one of the most up-tempo offensive attacks in college football. That could change this season.

With a stable of dynamic running backs and a veteran offensive line, Stoops confessed the Sooners will consider going slower offensively and chewing up more clock on the ground to help their defense.

“It's something to consider, definitely, how fast you are going, how effective it is, how it is affecting the defense,” Stoops said. “It's something to look at.

“So hopefully we can stay on the field, eat some clock. Even if we are going no-huddle sometimes, there's opportunity to still use up some of the clock.”

3. A Kendal Thompson package?

Stoops didn’t shoot down the idea of using a backup quarterback package again this season, similar to the one the Sooners used the last two years with Bell operating out of the Belldozer. Only this time, it would utilize the speed of Kendal Thompson and/or Trevor Knight instead of the power of Bell.

“You put Kendal or Trevor back there to run it, they're faster,” Stoops said. “So you've got more options there of what you're able to do with them. Or if they happen to hit a crease, they're not likely to be caught very soon. So there's some of that to consider, and it gives (Bell) a break or gives him an opportunity to avoid taking too many hits.”

4. Russell, St. John update

Stoops didn’t refer to defensive tackle Quincy Russell or offensive tackle Josiah St. John by name, but he did seem optimistic OU’s two missing junior-college transfers ultimately would make it to campus before the start of fall camp, which starts next weekend.

“They’re still working things out,” Stoops said. “We’ll see.”

Russell would bolster a defensive line short on experience and bodies. St. John would have a good chance to be OU’s third offensive tackle behind starters Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams.

5. Young DBs impressing

Cornerback Aaron Colvin reiterated what other program insiders have been saying this summer. True freshmen defensive backs Hatari Byrd, Ahmad Thomas, Stanvon Taylor and L.J. Moore could help the Sooners right away.

“They're very mature,” Colvin said. “There aren't many things you have to say to them twice. You tell them one time and they fix it -- that's the sign of a great player.”

Colvin himself played as a true freshman in 2010, even starting the Texas game after starter Jamell Fleming was injured the week before. He said he sees similar attributes in Taylor, also a corner.

“I stay on Stanvon hard, because I expect great things from him,” Colvin said. “He's eager to learn; he wants to be the best. There aren't too many things I need to say in order to get him riled up.”