I took the afternoon off for Mark Stoops’ football luncheon earlier today with the Joey Palumbo. I didn’t attend as media, so I didn’t approach it as work, but I guess I’ll still write a few words about it…
Mark Stoops made me laugh.
Highlight of the day: New offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was raving about his offensive personnel, saying something along the lines of being blessed to have so much depth across the board.
Stoops chimed in with, “You’ve been blessed to not be here the first two years.”
Solid joke there, Coach.
Back to Dawson, he said it’s the most depth he’s had anywhere he’s coached. That’s positive.
Here’s a picture of the food, because taking pictures of food is so in right now.
Whoa there, guys. Don’t be so generous with the vegetables.
Stoops did not say “progress” one time.
We set the line at seven and I was all-in on over. “Progress” has been the word of the summer for Stoops and I didn’t hear it one single time. That’s progress.
Stoops suggested there was some tension with Vince Marrow when Marrow was talking to Michigan.
Stoops and Marrow have known each other forever, and that made things harder when Marrow was listening to offers from Michigan. Stoops said at one point he almost had to revert back to their “South Youngstown” ways when he found out Marrow was considering leaving after he thought they had agreed on a deal. Stoops was ready to take it back to the playground to settle it.
The younger players aren’t afraid to stand up to the veterans.
Stoops wouldn’t mention anyone by name, but he said one of the newcomers confronted a veteran in the weight room for his effort. Words were exchanged and the veteran “ended up on his back.”
“We don’t encourage fighting,” Stoops said. “But we like to see that.”
There’s so much excitement around the program right now.
I’ve been to many of these luncheons and they’re always about feeding the hype leading into the season. It’s expected and always feels forced and unrealistic. However, this time it really got me fired up for September 5th. Something about this staff, the new stadium, the swagger around the program… It feels different this time. Maybe I’ll be disappointed, maybe it’s just another round of that false hope we’ve been served every summer, but this one seems different.
43 days. Let’s do this.