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2013 Oklahoma spring game TV schedule, roster battles and more

The Sooners close spring practice Saturday with a scrimmage in Norman.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners will finish their spring drills with the annual Red-White game Saturday afternoon at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kickoff for the intrasquad scrimmage is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET, with television coverage provided by Fox Sports Southwest and Fox College Sports until 5 p.m.

The story of spring camp in Norman has been under center, where a trio of potential quarterbacks have been vying for the starting job. Junior Blake Bell, who acted as a backup and run-first change of pace over the last two seasons, was considered the slight favorite heading into spring, but sophomore Kendal Thompson and redshirt freshman Trevor Knight are even with Bell at the end of practices. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, which has all three quarterbacks working in a more run-heavy offense this season, found positives and negatives in the play of his three quarterbacks. Via ESPN:

"None of those guys have earned it yet. It doesn't mean they're not playing well. It's just nobody has earned that spot."


"They've all made their fair share of mistakes," Heupel said last week. "But they've learned from them, not repeated the same mistake, and gotten better. I'm not excited or pleased where they're at, but I think they're going in the right direction."

On the other side of the ball, the Sooners are rebuilding their secondary almost from scratch. Just one returning defensive back -- cornerback Aaron Colvin -- started last season, and the Sooners will be scrambling to fill two vacant safety positions and an opening at corner. That's to say nothing of the myriad defensive backs needed to combat the Big 12's notorious spread offenses. Crimson and Cream Machine breaks down the competition:

A player to keep an eye on in the spring game is Cortez Johnson, a DB transfer from Arizona, where Sooner defensive coordinator Mike Stoops coached. Johnson sat out last season due to the transfer rule, and is a strong candidate to fill in the corner spot vacated by the departed Hurst. At the safety position, junior Quentin Hayes and true freshman Ahmad Thomas, who is already on campus, are the top candidates at strong safety. Former wide receiver Trey Franks, who was suspended all of last season, is back and will convert to the defensive side of the ball, where he is being looked at as a free safety, along with senior Gabe Lynn. Both Lynn and Franks could also wind up as a nickelback in the secondary. Julian Wilson, made 31 tackles last season in a backup role in the secondary. It will be interesting to watch all the new players vying for the open positions in the defensive secondary in Saturday's scrimmage. The OU coaches also are high on a couple of incoming freshman from this year's recruiting class - Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore - who are four-star secondary prospects. Byrd and Moore will not be available, however, until the fall.

Likewise, the Sooners have lost all but one starter on the defensive line. Freshman D.J. Ward, a four-star defensive end widely considered the best player in Oklahoma in 2012, was declared eligible just days before the spring game. Nonetheless, Coach Stoops has said he hopes to play Ward in the scrimmage.

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