Following a goose egg of tight ends for the Class of 2013, Boulware was able to land two for last year's class and is helping get the position back to the forefront of OU football.
Boulware addressed the media last week to discuss how things are going. Unfortunately for OU it was confirmed after this media session that Blake Bell will miss the rest of the spring with a sprained knee injury.
How is Blake Bell handling transition?
It's awesome. Blake has done a great job, we're very fortunate to have him there and he's fit in very nicely with our guys. He's really excelled and he brings an athlete, which is what we've always said we need, we need blockers, we need guys who can run down the field and make plays on the ball and Blake can do that.
Have you been able to see Bell at his best because he's not having to think all the time like at quarterback?
That's not true. You think all the time at the tight end position. I think it's the hardest position to learn in our offense besides the quarterback. It encompasses the entire offense, and you're put in a lot of different positions.
How are the rest of the tight ends doing?
They're doing very well. The guy that I've been really pleased with is Dimitri Flowers, he's a tight end/halfback, but he's listed as a fullback, but he does the same things for us as Trey Millard did last year. He's played on the line of scrimmage, he's played in the backfield and he's played at wide receiver. He has receiving skills that are exceptional. We're still working on his route running and that's getting better and better every day. I've been very pleased with him and where he's come along. Obviously we still have (Aaron) Ripkowski in the room, he's doing a good job. And Taylor's (McNamara) coming a long, he's still maturing as he goes. That's kind of what we've got going right now.
Are the tight ends, as a whole, in a better position to see the field more this season?
First of all we were on the field quite a bit last year. I keep telling everybody I had two kids that played 50 something plays a game in Trey Millard and Ripkowski and when Trey went out it was Ripkowski and whoever else, a combination of Brannon Green and whoever else, whether it was Taylor or whoever. I had a guy in my room who was playing 50 some odd snaps. We rushed for more yards last year on our offense than we have in I can't tell you how long here. Our tight ends have a lot to do with that, it's not just the o-line, our tight ends and fullbacks pave the way as well. As far as our productivity in the throwing game, that's where we have to improve and that's what we're working on this year, because play wise and rep number wise, we're there. We've got to get our hands on the ball and we have to have guys who are athletic enough to get their hands on the ball. With the edition of Blake and Dimitri Flowers, we have that now.
No mention of Isaac Ijalana, how's he coming along?
Isaac is coming along, too. He hasn't played as much football, hasn't played in the type of program like Flowers has in with Texas football. He's getting better. He's a big, athletic kid. Right now his head is spinning. Once he gets to understanding everything and playing faster, he's going to be better.