OU veterans in the preseason spotlight


Landry Jones is one of the best quarterbacks to wear an Oklahoma uniform.

Yet the argument could be made that Jones has something to prove heading into his senior season. The Sooners senior signal-caller is one of five veterans who will be in the spotlight as fall camp opens this week.

Here’s a look at five well-known Sooners who should expect to have all eyes on them this August:

Quarterback Landry Jones

Jones has incredible career numbers and should be featured on any potential Heisman Trophy list as his final season approaches. But questions about Jones' overall ability still remain. He gave his critics an opening to attack his pedigree with a subpar finish to the 2011 season.

He can erase all doubts and silence all critics by leading this team to a national championship. And it all starts this week.

Safety Tony Jefferson

Jefferson wants to be the face of OU’s defense and there’s no reason he shouldn't fulfill that role. He has already proven he has immense talent and his production and effort has been consistent since his freshman season. Now Jefferson gets his chance to step into a leadership role with the Sooners.

His leadership, paired with the leadership of other key veterans, could determine how good the Sooners become in 2012.

Receiver Kenny Stills

All eyes will be on Stills as the lone returning receiver with extensive experience. Every element of Stills’ game -- from leadership to on-field production to off-the-field decision-making -- needs to rise to another level during his junior season. With a guy like Jones running the offense, the only thing between Stills and one of the best seasons in OU history could be himself.

Fall camp will start to tell us if Stills has taken his game to another level.

Running back Dominique Whaley

Whaley is ready to go as fall camp begins but it remains to be seen how quickly he returns to the Dom Whaley of 2011. His broken ankle was a nasty injury and it could take him a while to regain the mental confidence to simply react to what he is seeing and just play football.

Cornerback Aaron Colvin

Colvin returns to cornerback after spending his sophomore season at safety. There’s no reason to think Colvin won’t make a smooth transition but he still needs to do it this August after missing spring football due to shoulder surgery. He has the size, speed and athleticism to be an excellent cornerback and solidify the position opposite Demontre Hurst.

Nonetheless, new defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has zero experience coaching the Sooners secondary while Colvin is on the practice field. So making sure Colvin makes a smooth transition and solidifies OU’s starting cornerback duo is a key during preseason camp.