The Woodward News

Sports

December 22, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: Tight ends will be back

NORMAN — Oklahoma fans noticed it early in the season. Now that the regular season is over, OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel admitted the offseason changed things because of the absence of one position — tight end.

No tight end has caught a pass since September.

The position became an afterthought by the midway point in the season.

Only junior Brannon Green still technically plays the position. Sophomore Geneo Grissom was moved back to defensive end late in the year. Freshman Taylor McNamara wound up redshirting with a shoulder injury.

“It’s changed us a bunch,” Heupel said. “That was one of the intriguing things with (quarterback Landry Jones) making a decision to come back (for his senior year). He made a decision to come back knowing we weren’t  going to be the same offensively and in some ways it’s a brand new  offense. I think our kids got better as the year progressed, and we got better in it.”

Improving the position for next season will be critical.

OU coach Bob Stoops doesn’t expect the position to be on the back burner for long. McNamara should be healthy by next season. OU also redshirted freshman Sam Grant.

“It’s not uncommon for a true freshmen; (they) aren’t quite ready to go and then all of a sudden they make a big jump and then there they are,” he said. “Those kids are all great kids. They work their butt off. They  all got talent. They’ll be fine. I really believe that.”

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