NORMAN — OU soccer coach Brent Venables has all the time rooted for Casey Thompson.
But this week is an exception.
When OU performs Nebraska on the highway at 11 am Saturday, it’s going to be pitted in opposition to a acquainted face in Thompson. The Oklahoma City native and son of former Sooners quarterback Charles Thompson spent the previous 4 seasons as a quarterback at Texas earlier than transferring to Nebraska in January.
It was a resolution Venables hoped would go a totally different means. He mentioned Tuesday that he tried to get Thompson to switch to OU.
“I hated it,” Venables mentioned. “We tried to get him right here within the offseason and thought we would have a possibility. I do know he thought of us. But I feel he noticed a nice alternative (at Nebraska), a distinctive alternative. Happy for him.
“Wonderful household. Casey’s an incredible younger man. Just a nice household. So actually pulling for him, besides this week.”
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Thompson’s resolution to enter the switch portal on Dec. 17 got here throughout a hectic time for the Sooners.
Lincoln Riley left OU to turn out to be USC’s head coach on Nov. 28, and quarterback Spencer Rattler entered the switch portal the next day earlier than in the end touchdown at South Carolina.
That left OU ready to see if quarterback Caleb Williams would comply with swimsuit. And when he entered the switch portal on Jan. 3, the Sooners responded that very same day by bringing in UCF switch Dillon Gabriel.
Thompson then dedicated to Nebraska on Jan. 7, the place he instantly grew to become the favourite to start out following the departure of Adrian Martinez.
“I was searching for a possibility on the quarterback spot,” Thompson mentioned throughout a press convention on March 9. “I was searching for a nice offense, a good offensive line within the analysis that I did. Honestly, it was simply movie research simply form of making an attempt to look at and see what groups across the nation have potential and the place the great receivers are.”
Nebraska is 1-2 this season and is now led by interim head coach Mickey Joseph following the firing of Scott Frost on Sunday, however Thompson’s play should not get misplaced within the chaos.
The junior has gone 62 of 97 via the air for 866 yards and 4 passing touchdowns via three video games. He additionally ran for 4 TDs.
Thompson threw for 388 yards and 5 touchdowns for the Longhorns in final season’s Red River Rivalry loss to the Sooners.
“He’s all the time been nice,” OU senior cornerback Jaden Davis mentioned of Thompson. “He’s been constant. He appears to be like comfy. So I identical to that about him, and I actually give him props for what he is been doing at his time at Nebraska. I’m simply excited for the problem.”
More:How has Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel carried out via two video games?
No complaints from Daniel Parker
Missouri switch Daniel Parker had a mission when he arrived at OU this previous offseason.
Follow Brayden Willis.
Parker had expertise from his earlier 4 seasons at Missouri. The senior tight finish was recent off a marketing campaign wherein he caught 12 passes for 97 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
But he needed to be taught all he might from Willis, a fifth-year tight finish who has spent his whole faculty profession at OU.
“For me, I’m model new right here and all the things is new to me,” Parker mentioned. “Wherever (Willis) goes, I am going. He took me underneath his wing.”
Parker’s willingness to be taught is not all the time shared by senior transfers.
It could be arduous for some veterans to return to the function of the scholar after climbing the depth chart the previous 4 years, which was a concern for Venables when Parker joined the workforce in December.
“I do not need guys coming in right here considering that they are entitled to one thing,” Venables mentioned. “I do not need any entitlement wherever on this program. And we’re gonna guard in opposition to complacency and entitlement.”
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But Venables rapidly realized he had nothing to be involved about when Parker arrived on campus.
The 6-foot-2, 239-pounder had no downside embracing his function behind Willis on the depth chart.
“One of the enticing issues about him was his humility,” Venables mentioned of Parker. “He’s a powerful man. Great teammate. Very aggressive. And once more, it takes a lot of maturity for a man (Willis) that is identical to him, you realize, just about the identical age.
“To look as much as his teammate he simply met a number of months in the past and now he is acquired to be his quote, unquote, backup. So I acquired a nice thankfulness for DP and what he is dropped at the workforce.”
Parker hoped his dedication would repay throughout OU’s season opener in opposition to UTEP, however he was unable to make his Sooner debut resulting from an sickness.
Even then, the senior discovered a means to have a look at the setback from a constructive angle.
“It was arduous,” Parker mentioned. “I needed to be on the market with my brothers. But watching it and simply observing it from a fan’s viewpoint was really enjoyable as a result of I do know each single individual on the sector. It was simply a enjoyable perspective.”
Parker was handled to a present that day by his mentor. Willis caught three passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns, which matched his landing whole from all of final season.
Parker additionally watched in awe as Willis made an impression together with his blocking, which is one thing the 2 tight ends take delight in.
“It was superb,” Parker mentioned. “We talked concerning the nice two touchdowns, however he threw some loopy blocks. If you return and watch the movie, he was blocking unreal. I have never seen a lot of individuals block like that, not even myself. I give him kudos on that proper there.”
Parker lastly acquired his probability to contribute throughout OU’s Week 2 house recreation in opposition to Kent State. He completed with two catches for 21 yards in entrance of a house crowd that blew him away with its depth.
“It was thrilling,” Parker mentioned. “The Palace is like a place I’ve by no means been in. I like it right here, and I’m grateful.”
Parker figures to have a constant function with OU shifting ahead, though it may not translate to the stat sheet. While a few balls will get thrown his means, he’ll largely be requested to do issues akin to block and set aa good instance for freshmen tight ends Kaden Helms and Jason Llewellyn.
It is not probably the most glamorous gig, nevertheless it’s one Parker has embraced.
“I’m right here to do one factor and one factor solely, and that is the job that Coach (Jeff) Lebby needs me to. Whether that be him eager to get me the ball extra or me getting concerned within the blocking schemes, no matter it’s, I’m 10 toes and I’m behind him.”
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Venables mentioned Tuesday that Wanya Morris can be out there in opposition to Nebraska. The senior offensive lineman missed OU’s first two video games of the season resulting from what Venables described as off-the-field points.
The Sooners may have junior security Key Lawrence and redshirt fifth-year offensive lineman Robert Congel again within the combine as effectively. Lawrence missed final week’s contest in opposition to Kent State resulting from a tweaked hamstring.
Venables additionally hopes to see Nic Anderson make his OU debut. The 6-4, 200-pound freshman broad receiver was rated by ESPN as a four-star prospect.