TULSA–The Tulsa football team was back on the field Monday following an off day on Sunday.
“We sped everything up an hour because looking at the forecast we were afraid the rain would hit right before we ended, and felt like we needed to do that to ensure getting it in,” said Montgomery. “I don’t want to wish the rain away at all. We, as Oklahomans, need some rain, but as far as practice goes we need to get our work done. So, we started an hour early. It was pretty humid, but the sun was behind the clouds.”
The temperature Monday morning only reached 79 degrees, but the humidity also reached 79 percent.
“I thought the guys did a good job today,” added Montgomery.
TIGHT ENDS UPDATE
The tight end position has been critical to the Tulsa offense in the run game for the past three seasons. There’s no doubt that the tight ends will once again be counted on to provide blocking ability in the Tulsa running game.
Two-year starter Chris Minter returns for his senior season, as does Cole Neph to anchor the tight end spot, while three-year sophomore David Fitzwater and a pair of true freshmen James Palmer and Dalton May area on hand as well.
“Chris is the leader of the group. There’s no doubt what he can do, but the other guys are stepping up,” said tight end coach Jordan Najvar. “Cole has done a good job. He’s come along from a blocking standpoint in the run game. He’s already a natural route runner with his receiving background, so I’m excited to see how he continues to develop.”
“It’s been night and day for Fitz from spring to fall. This is his third year and the light switch is turning on. He’s that end-line tight end that we need. The young guys, James and Dalton, have come in and done everything I’ve asked of them,” added Najvar.
Minter has been an important cog in the Tulsa offense since first stepping on the field as a true freshman in 2015, while Neph added solid depth last year after transferring from Oklahoma State. Minter has also made some big receptions over the last two years, as four of his 10 career catches have gone for touchdowns.
“Mint’s a stud. He’s been doing it for us for a long time,” said head coach Philip Montgomery. “Cole got some really good experience last year. Cole brings a different skill set to us than Mint does, and we have to do a good job to make sure we’re utilizing that skill set. He’s a good player and we can do some things with him in the passing game and get him more involved. He’s a really good route runner and has great hands, and he’s done a really good job blocking for us.”
“Fitzwater is coming on. He’s not the young guy in the room anymore and I’m pleased with what he’s given us,” said Montgomery.
James and Dalton are from this last recruiting class. I think James has a chance to be a really good player. He’s picked up the offense pretty well. The flow of the game is still a little fast for him right now, and he has to get used to hitting on big guys, but he’s doing a good job. Dalton is continuing to learn, he just has a ways to go.
Palmer was credited with 28 receptions for 448 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games at Westmoore High School as a prep senior, while May caught 16 passes for 273 yards and three TDs at Jones High School.