The Sooners were allowed to start camp on Friday because their opener against Missouri State was moved from September 5 to August 29 last weekend, allowing OU to start before the previously scheduled date of 7 August.
“You could feel this in the atmosphere today,” said Lincoln Riley in an interview with SoonerSports.com. “The guys just can’t wait to be here, very excited. Maybe even more than a normal camp opening. They’re still fun, but this one had a different feel.
OU didn’t bring their players back to campus until July 1 for voluntary training sessions, but Riley said there were no noticeable negative effects with summer conditioning. He said the players have done a good job of staying fit at home and being ready to come back to Norman and get down to business.
Of course, this camp is unlike any other before it when it comes to security protocols to follow because of COVID-19. Everything OU has done has clearly worked. The Sooners have not had a positive test for four weeks and have no active cases.
As for how masks and things like that might change practice, that’s sort of what everyone is going to have to face this season.
“It’s more about keeping your face covered,” Riley said. “And what we do a bit in between, we don’t change much in our practices. We’ve been gone for seven days now in the OTA period, and you know, even on that, we did team drills, guys next to each other.
“And as everyone knows, we tested again and had no positive results, so we feel like what we’re doing is working. It’s not so much about what we do as it is about exercising, but limiting unnecessary times when guys aren’t socially distant and everyone keeps their faces covered.
Moving on to product in the field, OU has apparently been on the verge of breaking through for some time. Five straight Big 12 championships and three straight spots in the college football playoffs, but OU knows there’s another level to be reached.
Something that has been seen throughout this week in the NCAA and NFL is the players retiring from the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
For now, however, Riley has said his team is full and everyone is ready to roll.
“No player sitting outside,” Riley said. “And as far as the medical history goes, it’s something that we pay attention to with all of our guys, but obviously it’s something they won’t let me in.”