Buried beneath the news that center Ben Habern’s football career is over was the announcement that coach Bob Stoops has reinstated receivers Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks as well as reserve safety Quentin Hayes.
All three players will be able to practice with the team, but remain suspended indefinitely from games. A third receiver, Kameel Jackson remains off the roster, but he could be reinstated after the summer academic session ends.
What does all this mean for the OU offense? Depends on the length of the suspensions. Both Reynolds and Franks are expected to serve multi-game suspensions that could last into October and beyond.
Once activated, could any of the three make an impact during what figures to be a tough November stretch that includes road games at West Virginia and TCU, and a home bout with Oklahoma State?
Reynolds, perhaps. Franks and Jackson, not so much.
Reynolds, remember, didn’t emerge until the middle of last season, after redshirting in 2010 following a series of suspensions. He broke out with six catches for 92 yards against Texas, then made a pair of spectacular touchdown grabs in a 55-17 win at Kansas State. After getting suspended again for the Iowa State game, Reynolds suffered a kidney injury at Oklahoma State that nearly ended his career. Reynolds came back for the spring, and delivered the play of the game by grabbing a pass over safety Javon Harris then racing in for a touchdown.
Reynolds has been in and out of trouble over the last four years, but he brings a wealth of experience, having played some as a true freshman in 2009.
Franks and Jackson have had their moments. Both came on some late last season after injuries to Ryan Broyles and then Reynolds. But neither has been the playmaker or Reynolds has or earned the trust of quarterback Landry Jones the way Reynolds has.
Considering OU will start out with only one receiver (Kenny Stills) with a catch in an OU uniform, Reynolds could be a difference maker down the stretch -- when the Sooners will need him most.