The “Oklahoma” drill is a rite of passage in college football.
However, it could soon be abolished. According to an article published by Sports Illustrated late Thursday night, the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee plans to present recommendations soon that will significantly change fall camps.
In response to results from a five-year concussion study released in February, an NCAA legislative committee is deeply exploring ways to make fall camps safer for players.
SI.com reports committee members are considering a reduction of full-padded camp practices from 21 to eight and the complete abolishment of collision exercises such as the “Oklahoma” drill and limiting a team to two scrimmages per camp (lowered from three and a half).
The Oklahoma drill has several variations. The most common involves two players lined up three yards opposite one another. A corridor is set up typically using three blocking bags on each side of the players lined up top to bottom to create a wall, and the walls are spaced about one yard apart. This creates an area of about three feet by nine feet.
The two players, at the sound of the whistle, then run at one another and the drill is over when one of the players is on the ground, or if a ball carrier is involved when he is tackled, or if the ball carrier runs out of bounds. If a player is able to drive the other player out of the corridor, that also ends the drill. In a variation, the ball carrier must keep running until they score a touchdown.
Clemson calls this drill “Paw” drill. College teams use the Oklahoma drill as a way to kick off the first day of full contact practice.
In 2017, the NCAA banned two-a-days, and in 2018, the governing body reduced the number of preseason practices from 29 to 25.
The latest impending modifications keep both the number of practices (25) over the same amount of days (29) but adjust the type of practices coaches can hold.
NEWS: Significant changes are coming to fall camp, officials tell @SINow, including a reduction by half in full-pad practices & the abolishment of collision exercises, such as the Oklahoma Drill.
Changes stem from a concussion study released in February https://t.co/7Oin6BDP5g
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) April 22, 2021