The Pryor Times

Sports

April 5, 2012

Sooners’ Jones seeks out guru

NORMAN — Most of Oklahoma’s football players spent spring break blowing off steam. Most went home for the week. Others hit the road for various vacation destinations.

Quarterback Landry Jones used the time for some extra practice. He went to Palo Alto, Calif., for four days of one-on-one time with quarterback guru George Whitfield.

Whitfield, who has made a name for himself working with prep quarterbacks as well as NFL starters, called Jones’ father, Kevin, to see if the Sooner quarterback would be interested in going through a couple of sessions over spring break.

“I saw him on TV and heard he was a good fundamentals coach,” Jones said. “I decided instead of spending all my time at the beach or doing something like that, I went out there and got some work in.”

Jones said he just wanted to get another opinion on what he’s been doing and where he is fundamentally. Whitfield worked with Cam Newton before he was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Whitfield is also working with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who is expected to be the No. 1 pick when the NFL draft is held later this month.

Jones, who will be a fifth-year senior this season, is expected to be in the mix for the top spot in the 2013 NFL draft.

The decision to see Whitfield did raise a few eyebrows. Sooner offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has a strong history of developing quarterbacks.

“I just wanted a different look,” Jones said. “I spend a lot of time with coach Heupel, and he’s a great coach. I just wanted a little different perspective on things and seeing if he could help me out or anything like that. It was just one of those deals where I just wanted to get work in.”

OU coach Bob Stoops and receivers coach Jay Norvell said they didn’t find about Jones’ trip after the fact. Neither said they had a problem with Jones seeking outside help.

“Why not? I go to pro camps all the time. I go to watch other teams practice. You pick up one or two extra things that help. Why not? You share it with someone else. You share it with coach Heupel,” Stoops said. “I share whatever I see at some other practices. Sometimes you implement it and sometimes you don’t. Other times you get there and you find you’d already been doing those things as it is. It never hurts to always be seeking information.”

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