OWASSO, Oklahoma - It's a new era for Owasso High football, and the Rams hope it's the start of something big.

Look around an Owasso Rams practice nowadays and you'll notice one thing: it feels more like a college than high school.

"I think there's a lot of what we're trying to do is to imitate and mimic what we have seen at the college level,” said head coach Bill Blankenship. “These guys, that's where they want to get to, so we kind of call it college prep."

After a "gap year" of sorts in Arkansas, Blankenship is back home in Oklahoma and trying to return Owasso to a state title contender.

"We just have to get the speed going better. I'm talking about how we fly to the ball on defense, how we hurry on offense,” he explained. “We want to play at a very fast tempo. It's a lot better than in the spring. Our guys are figuring it out, I think our tempo's been really good so far."

He added, "It's good to be back home. There's no question about that. I loved my time in Fayetteville, but this feels like home."

As excited as he is to be back home, there will still be games to win for Blankenship. He likes what he's seen out of the Rams so far, but knows with a new coach and a new scheme, until the pads come on, nothing is for certain.

"I think we've got to learn how to win, and to do that, there's little things,” he said. “You see us working on ball security, taking care of the football, getting turnovers. I just hadn't seen them play with pads on yet, so I'm anxious to do that."