The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 13, 2014

Tight end back in OU offense

NORMAN, Okla. — When Taylor McNamara signed with the University of Oklahoma two years ago, he had reason to be excited as the Sooners’ future tight end.

OU had been known for its tight ends under head coach Bob Stoops. Jermaine Gresham was the No. 1 draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010.

“I wanted to be like those guys and make plays,’’ said McNamara, who came to OU from San Diego’s Westview High School.

McNamara started against Florida A&M in the third game of his first year at OU, but was injured and almost forgotten as the Sooners practically took the tight end — once a staple — out of their offense.

He was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA after the 2012 season, but didn’t catch the first pass of his career until he made a four-yard reception against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

“It wasn’t very fun,’’ McNamara said. “It was a tough experience for two years ... the transition (to college) was really tough because of the injury. That’s not the way I had it scripted. I just kept working and kept grinding.’’

His patience paid off Saturday when he had touchdown receptions of one yard from Cody Thomas and eight yards from Baker Mayfield in the White team’s 28-13 win over the Red team Saturday in OU’s annual spring game.

McNamara caught three passes for 16 yards, about the number of receptions OU’s tight ends had in all of 2013.

“It felt good,’’ he said. “You want to keep progressing and getting better,’’ he said. “I feel I am getting better. I think it’s from being older and maturing. I feel more confident.

“It’s a lot different from the last two years. It helps me. It gives me a little more motivation and a little more confidence.’’

Stoops said the 6-foot-5 McNamara, along with converted 6-foot-6 quarterback Blake Bell, will help create mismatches.

“He’s like a lot of young guys,’’ Stoops said. “He’s getting stronger and more mature in what we’re asking them to do. His technique is improving. It was good to see him make a few big plays when we needed him to.’’

McNamara said “the offense will do a lot of different things,’’ in 2014, especially with the tight ends.

“The more things you can do the better,’’ he said. “It’s kind of a combination of the guys we’ve got in. With Blake, Dimitri (Flowers), Rip (Aaron Ripkowski) and a bunch of other guys like Connor Knight (Trevor’s twin brother), we’ve got a bunch of guys who can make plays.’’

He said the tight ends have helped and supported each other as a unit and hopes Bell, who recently tweaked a knee, will be back soon.

He does understand why the tight ends almost disappeared from the offense.

“Part of it was the receivers we had,’’ he said. “You had guys like Jalen (Saunders), Jaz (Reynolds) and Sterling (Shepard, who returns). Obviously, you’re going to be playing your top 11 guys.’’

Second-year assistant coach Jay Boulware has helped his progress “a lot,’’ McNamara said.

“He pushes us,’’ McNamara said. “I didn’t know him because he didn’t recruit me, but he knows what he’s doing.’’

McNamara “doesn’t even think about’’ whether he’s a blocker or a receiver first. He said he understands he has to be more physical to be effective at the position.

“You have to be able to do both,’’ he said. “If we’re going to play at a high level, we have to have a running game.’’

He said he is adjusting better to defenses. He said all four quarterbacks — Trevor Knight, Thomas, Mayfield and Justice Hansen threw the ball well.

“It was just a lot of fun today,’’ McNamara said.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • OU logo color.jpg Probe continues into incident involving Sooner RB Joe Mixon

    Norman Police are still investigating the alleged assault in which Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is a suspect.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bradford Bradford: Yet another make or break season

    The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • celebration picture.jpeg DBAT Gallegos headed to Connie Mack World Series

    DBAT Gallegos, who has been battling adversity all season (lost five players through injuries) took advantage of their opportunities in beating Metroplex rival Dallas Mustangs, 3-0 Sunday in the finals of the Connie South Plains Regional.
    The victory put the DBAT (34-7) into the Connie Mack World Series, which begins Friday at Farmington, N.M.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadowlake retains Enid Ryder Cup

    Jay Betchan might have a statement a week before he tries to defend his Wheat Capital championship next week.
    Betchan completed a perfect 3-0 record for Meadowlake with a 6-and-4 win over John Petersen as the Municipal Course took the Enid Ryder Cup for the fourth straight year, 131⁄2-101⁄2 overall.
    The two teams split six singles matches Sunday at Oakwood in the final day of the three-day competition.

    July 27, 2014

  • Bruce Campbell mug use me Allie Reynolds belongs in Hall of Fame

    It was with a twinge of sadness watching the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony on Sunday, knowing Oklahoma’s Allie Reynolds still is not in the Hall of Fame and there’s a good chance he won’t be in.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DezPhoto.jpeg Bryant showing maurity as leader of Dallas receivers

    Dez Bryant is going into the final season of his rookie contract with the potential of a big pay day looming. And his answers on that topic sound more like a leader than the troubled rookie who didn’t pay his jewelry bills four years ago.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Photo.jeg Hall ceremony emotion for six inductees

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.
    Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.
    Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the baseball shrine Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gordon nails restart to win Brickyard 400

     With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line Sunday, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago.
    Gordon nailed the final restart of the race — no given because restarts have been Gordon’s Achilles heel — to pass Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne with 17 laps remaining at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-28-14

    July 27, 2014

  • LeBron to wear No. 23 with Cavs

    July 27, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.