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No Doubt About It

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Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

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Jay Norvell Q&A

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Adrian Taylor doing just fine

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Meet Dusty Dvoracek This Saturday!

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Best of The Red River Rivalry

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Facebook & Football

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Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

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Tisdale and Griffin

Wayman Tisdale Dies

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The Wait Is Over

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Bradford, Gresham, Williams Coming Back

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Bradford Wins Heisman

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Sooners Headed To KC For Big 12 Title Game

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Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

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Thompson & Alexander To Sign Autographs

WE'RE BACK!!!!

GET READY FOR THE RETURN OF SOONER SPECTATOR!

OU’s Greatest

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Thirty Reasons Why OU will beat Texas

Double Duty

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Gray, OU prep for The Dance

Moore is Better

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Haskell remains a lost treasure

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McCoy becomes a Sooner

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Strong Willed

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USC or Texas: The Lesser of Two Evils?

Stoops is not leaving OU

Sooners down Ducks in Holiday Bowl

Biding His Time

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Next Stop Division I

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Chris Messner Q&A

Bob Stoops' take on Bedlam Victory

Terrance Anderson's Journey

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OU vs. Tech Matchups

Road Warrior

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Sooners topple Huskers in Lincoln

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Sooners top Baylor

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Texas tops Oklahoma

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Sooners Roll Past K-State

OU vs. K-State Matchups

Recruiting: Replenishing The Backfield

Boomer Bio

Sooners give one away

Recruiting Demarco Murray

C.J. Ah You Q&A

The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

Not Pretty, But Sooners Win

Spectator Sneak Preview

Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

Texas Christian Sacks Sooners

Moses leads Sooner tight ends

Rufus Alexander Q&A

Thompson gets nod at QB

Birdine Lost For Season

Sampson to Visit Kuwait for Hoops with Troops

Walk-on making noise at WR

Travis Wilson Q&A

Clint Ingram Q&A

Sooners open fall practice

Brent Venables Q&A

Sooner single-game tickets go on sale Monday

Questions about Sooners' aura not surprising

Joseph talks about summer workouts

OU at Big 12 Media Days

Kim Named to U.S. Walker Cup Team

Sooners name Golloway

Stephenson decides to stay at Wichita State

Stephenson takes OU head baseball job

Soon to be Sooners

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2005 Season Preview Issue Available Now!!

Letter from the Editor

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Ever Elusive

Sooner Selections

Ole Miss powers past Sooners

OU's Weekly Sports Report

OU inks JUCO point guard

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White gets a chance with Kansas City

Red Rallies to Down White

Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




On Sale at Newsstands Sept. 29!
Boomer Bio: Austin Haywood
Talented tight end prospect ready to step up for Sooners

Prior to his arrival at the University of Oklahoma last fall, Austin Haywood had almost always relied on his God-given talent to help give him a competitive edge. It worked at the junior high level and it worked at the high school level, so Haywood figured there was no reason to change his strategy when he joined the Sooners.
Chalk one up to inexperience.

A few days into camp, Haywood found himself battling just to secure a spot on the offensive depth chart. The starting job was nowhere in sight, and earning any amount of varsity game experience didn’t seem likely.

“I wasn’t quite ready for all the challenges I faced when I got to OU,” said Haywood. “There is a lot of demand on you from all different directions. I needed to grow up a little bit and change the way I did some things, especially the way I worked out and prepared myself.”

It took Haywood almost his entire freshman season to become acclimated to his new surroundings and the level of commitment required to succeed at a program like Oklahoma. While his athleticism and heart helped keep him from completely fading into the woodwork, he basically had to reinvent himself when it came to work ethic and accountability.

“No one ever doubted Austin’s ability. He’s got tons of it,” said Bruce Kittle, OU tight ends coach. “Part of Austin’s deal has been his maturity and how he needed to progress in that aspect. A lot of being successful at this level is getting up every single day, working hard and doing your absolute best. It took Austin a little more time to figure some things out, and I know it put him behind on where he wanted to be with the program.”

As the 2010 season progressed, so too did Haywood.

Although James Hanna and Trent Ratterree were still getting most of the snaps at tight end, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Anadarko native earned valuable experience working on special teams in 11 games. Haywood did see a few snaps at tight end late in games and eventually came to the realization that he would have to dedicate himself even more fully to get the results he desired.

Phase One of Haywood’s plan was to train harder.

“To be honest, I’ve never been a weight-room guy. I’ve never liked it,” said Haywood, a four-star prospect and Class 6A player of the year at Southmoore as a prep senior. “At OU, you have to be strong mentally and physically just to survive Coach Schmitty’s workouts. But I got in there and did it, and it’s really helped me out a lot.”

Haywood’s offseason work has paid off in the form of added muscle that has helped in his efforts to become a better blocker. He entered fall camp bigger, faster, stronger — and most importantly, more confident.
On top of that, he dug a little deeper into the playbook over the summer to get a better understanding of his assignments and routes. All of that has translated into a happier, more balanced Haywood, and that’s great news for the Sooners.

“Austin started to figure some things out last season, and he’s made some adjustments that he needed to make,” said Kittle. “We couldn’t be happier with his determination and willingness to do all the things necessary to help make himself and this team better.”

None of this information is lost on head coach Bob Stoops, who has been keeping a close eye on Haywood’s progress since his arrival.

“Austin is really working hard out there and getting better every day,” said Stoops. “He’s a guy with a ton of talent who just has to keep maturing and gaining experience.”

A better overall attitude has been Haywood’s biggest ally in his transformation process. He checks his ego at the door every morning before practice, rolls up his sleeves and doesn’t stop grinding until the last whistle blows.

“I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m getting there,” said Haywood. “The key for me is to continue to do all the little things right, like practicing hard, showing up on time, studying and doing my best to earn the respect of my teammates and coaches.

“I’m going out there every day and giving it my all on every play. If I do that, if I do my job, I believe good things will happen.”

While Haywood is a much different football player than he was just a few months ago, his expectations haven’t changed. He still believes big things are in store for him as a Sooner — if not this season, then in the not-too-distant future.

His coach agrees.

“Austin has all the tools to be an impact player at this level — athleticism, versatility,” said Kittle. “Add to that the work he’s putting in, and we are expecting a lot of good things from Austin Haywood.”

(Editor's Note: This story appears in the August Preview Issue of Sooner Spectator. To read more or subscribe, call toll free 1-877-841-8877)