OU revisited: 2012 class

The Sooners Illustrated look back continues with a review of OU's 2012 class and how it impacted the Sooners on the field in the 2013 season.

National signing day is next week, and Oklahoma is heading into the annual February event with a lot of momentum. The 2014 class is coming along and the Sooners are looking to finish strong.

But before we start talking about the stars of tomorrow, Sooners Illustrated is going to look back at the last five classes to see how OU has gotten where it is heading into the 2014 season.

Class of 2012

Ty Darlington (No. 2 C)

The center of the future? Most certainly believe that. Darlington is poised to take over Gabe Ikard as a leader both on and off the field.

Alex Ross (No. 14 RB)

Hasn't been the smoothest ride for Ross in his first two years, but he will have the opportunity in 2014 as nobody is favored to be the clear-cut starter.

Derrick Woods (No. 15 S)

Made a huge impact on special teams throughout the season and caught one big pass for a first down in the Sugar Bowl. His time to shine should be coming.

Durron Neal (No. 18 WR)

Neal has had to sit and wait for his opportunity, but it should come in 2014. He had 13 catches for 176 yards last season and has talked about how pumped he is for next season.

Sterling Shepard (No. 27 WR)

One of the biggest stars of the class by far. Shepard had 51 catches for 603 yards and seven touchdowns, while also rushing for another score. There is no doubt Shepard will be the team's top target heading into the 2014 season.

Kass Everett (JC CB)

Everett was never able to make a difference at corner, but he did know how to blitz and time his blitz. Came up with big plays in wins against West Virginia and Alabama and graduated with his degree.

Taylor McNamara (No. 19 TE)

Tight end has been a lost cause the last two years, but McNamara might be a sign of the position coming back. Caught the first pass of his career in the Sugar Bowl and his body has filled out nicely.

Trevor Knight (No. 22 QB)

If Knight plays like he did in the Sugar Bowl, look out for 2014. Not much more needs to be said about his 348-yard, four-touchdown outing that has given OU fans many reasons to smile for 2014. Just as lethal as a runner, OU is in good hands with Knight.

Charles Tapper (No. 35 DE)

Another breakout star as Tapper has shown the ability to make jaw-dropping plays with his speed. Named All-Big 12 first team by coaches and finished with 49 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Will be a defensive force in 2014.

Kyle Marrs (No. 38 OG)

Provides depth for the offensive line. Has yet to make a noticeable impact but still time.

David Smith (No. 39 RB)

Smith might never see the field for Sooners, but his biggest contribution is with recruiting. "Sooner Dave" has become the unofficial spokesman for the Sooners with recruits.

Sam Grant (No. 45 TE)

It has been rumored Grant has been moved to offensive tackle, and we'll obviously find out more in the spring. OU does need depth at the position.

Zack Sanchez (No. 55 S)

Huge year for Sanchez. Tested time and time again, Sanchez delivered for the most part. He had 46 tackles, two interceptions and was by far the team leader with 13 pass breakups.

Eric Striker (No. 61 OLB)

Sugar Bowl was sign of things to come for Striker, who had three sacks and a forced fumble in the upset win. He finished with 50 tackles, 10.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks and had penchant for making huge plays off the edge.

Daniel Brooks (No. 62 WR)

Brooks has worked his way back after a serious knee injury during the spring of his senior season in high school. He will be looking to work his way into the rotation in 2014.

Michael Onuoha (No. 75 DE)

A solid freshman season was erased with this year. A shoulder injury kept Onuoha from ever getting to 100 percent, and he redshirted. Will be ready to roll next season.

Damien Williams (JC RB)

Williams was a big part of the team before being dismissed because of violation of team rules. His career at OU is over.

Brannon Green (JC TE)

Was more of a blocking tight end than a receiving one but did catch his first two passes of the season in team's final two games. Did his job in opening up holes in the run game.

Chaz Nelson (JC DE)

Things never really got going for Nelson during his time at OU. An injury as he got onto campus last year hampered him, and he saw limited time this season.

Not on team: WR Trey Metoyer; OG John McGee; WR Courtney Gardner; TE Laith Harlow; CB Gary Simon; OT Will Latu.

Rank: No. 10 (25 signees).

Breakdown: Not too shabby. A lot of key members for 2013 team and even more expected to contribute for 2014. Offensive line depth is a concern, but other than that, solid class so far.

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