OU moves forward with Washington
In his first year with the program, L'Damian Washington quickly has an opportunity to prove himself as the Sooners' interim receivers coach.
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🏈 Next coach up
Oklahoma’s receivers have a new coach, who’s done nothing but impress since he first joined the staff earlier this year.
Brent Venables elevated offensive analyst L’Damian Washington to OU’s interim receivers coach this week, following Cale Gundy’s resignation late Sunday evening for saying a “shameful and hurtful” word during a meeting.
The 31-year-old Washington played receiver for Missouri in the early 2010s, went undrafted in 2014 and jumped from pro roster to pro roster before accepting an off-field assistant role with the Sooners back in January.
Washington provides a younger voice to lead the room and over half of a decade of professional experience as a player. By all accounts, Washington shouldn’t struggle to channel that knowledge and energy into his new gig.
Venables easily could have promoted Matt Wells, the former Texas Tech head coach who was fired last season and took an analyst role with OU this offseason. Instead, Wells, along with former OU receiver Nick Basquine, will assist Washington with running the unit.
Wells, who cut his teeth as a receivers coach at the Group of 5 level while working his way up the coaching ladder, ought to be a great resource for Washington. Although, Venables sounds confident in what Washington can bring to the talent-rich room, which includes team veterans Marvin Mims, Drake Stoops and Theo Wease.
More on Washington:
Meet L'Damian Washington, Oklahoma's interim wide receivers coach (Tulsa World)
How L’Damian Washington earned Brent Venables, players’ trust to become Sooners' interim receivers coach (OU Daily)
Brent Venables is confident L'Damian Washington will thrive in new role at Oklahoma (SI Sooners)
📍 Not going anywhere
When coaches leave a school, the players they were recruiting naturally start looking elsewhere.
Cale Gundy was the primary recruiter on Jaquaize Pettaway, the electric four-star receiver who committed to Oklahoma last month. And Pettaway, ranked the No. 9 receiver in the 2023 recruiting class by the 247Sports Composite, eased concerns of a potential de-commitment with a simple Wednesday tweet.
For a closer look at OU’s 2023 recruiting class, which ranks No. 7 overall nationally as of late Thursday evening, visit 247Sports.com.
🎧 New podcast
Former Oklahoma receiver Juaquin Iglesias is back on a football field, this time as a coach. Joe Erwin-Buettner caught up with the star wideout, who played at OU from 2005-08, to learn about his new job in Texas high school football, as well as to learn more about his time at Oklahoma and his thoughts on Brent Venables’ return to OU.
Where you can subscribe to the Eyes on Oklahoma podcast:
🩺 Injury report
OU junior Jalen Redmond, who’s considered one of the best defensive tackles in the Big 12 entering the 2022 season, was held out of Wednesday’s practice. SI Sooners reports Redmond suffered a “slight concussion,” but it shouldn’t be a long-term issue.
Redmond finished the 2021 season with eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries, including this Thick Six™️:
🏈 Camp coverage
Oklahoma’s preseason practices are in full swing but Brent Venables is looking to turn things up a notch. The Sooners will move their practices from their cozy practice field adjacent to Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium down to the gritty, hot rugby fields not far from Lloyd Noble Center. “We’re going to go down there,” Venables said, “and grind it up.” (Read more at SI Sooners)
Venables had high praise for the offseason work put in from DT Jalen Redmond and DB Justin Harrington. Yes, this is the same Harrington who hit the transfer portal last season but has since returned to OU and could play a big role in the Sooners’ secondary. (Read more at OU Daily)
Former OU coach Bob Stoops shared his thoughts on the Cale Gundy situation during an interview with KREF this week. “It’s unfortunate,” Stoops said in the interview. “It’s sad. It kills me. But again, there is no good position on this. You just have to move forward.” (Read more at The Oklahoman)
🎥 WATCH: SoonerScoop delivers sights and sounds from OU’s Aug. 10 practice viewing session. (Click here to watch)
One of the worst things about covering a beat for a long time is typing out sentences like these when you distinctly remember writing about these players committing to OU while they were still in high school.