Spring Practice: Five Things We've Learned

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners have officially concluded spring ball, so now it's time to break down what we've found out about this team.

1. Brandon Williams is going to be a beast--He has impressed people with his speed, physicality and downhill running game this spring. Quarterback Landry Jones said he really adds another dimension to the OU backfield because he's a straight north-south runner, which completely complements Roy Finch's shifty style, Brennan Clay's power, as well as what the rest of the backs bring to the table.

2. Drew Allen has emerged as the clear cut backup quarterback--Allen looked as good as any Sooner backup quarterback in recent memory during this year's Spring Game. He threw for 179 yards and a touchdown on 16-for-29 passing in guiding the Red Team to victory. He was efficient, poised in the pocket, did toss an interception, but besides that was very effective. Blake Bell, on the other hand, still showed inexperience in his reads and much less comfortability in the pocket. Although Bell has made great progress, Allen has also make remarkable leaps and has emerged as the obvious No. 2 guy.

3. Despite being youthful, the Sooner secondary will be very solid--There's just one senior in the two deep and a pair of sophomores and juniors in the starting secondary, but these guys are very talented. Aaron Colvin is adjusting well to the switch to strong safety, while cornerback Demontre Hurst is displaying great leadership as the only returning starter, assuming Jamell Fleming doesn't return in the fall. Cornerback Gabe Lynn and free safety Javon Harris round out the starting four and are developing well. This position may appear to be one of the question marks heading into 2011, but it will be a strong group.

4. The offensive line has made tremendous strides--Two years ago, the O-line struggled with inexperience and injuries. Last year, the group improved as the year went on and was very good by the end of the season. This time around, it's going to be a force. Even head coach Bob Stoops said in an off-the-record comment that they are remarkably better than last year. The current starting rotation of left tackle Donald Stephenson, left guard Gabe Ikard, center Ben Habern, right guard Tyler Evans and right tackle Josh Aladenoye, with the likely return of right tackle Jarvis Jones in the first month of the season, coupled with several other strong players in the second line, features a stacked group.

5. OU has all the pieces to be the legitimate No. 1--With the exception of Jarvis Jones, there are no glaring injuries. There's depth at every position. When asked the other day on just how deep this team is, Stoops replied that they are 1 3/4 deep at each spot. That's 39-40 players deep, which is ridiculous for any college football program. Along with their depth, Landry Jones returns with another year of experience, electric slot receiver Ryan Broyles and defensive ringleader, linebacker Travis Lewis returns. The Sooners are absolutely stacked and are a very justifiable preseason No. 1.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories