OU 11 - Offense: No. 4

As the countdown rolls on, the linemen are starting to take over when it comes to OU's success.

Football season is almost here for Oklahoma. And SoonersIlustrated.com is eager to get you ready for what could be a memorable 2014 season.

During the next two weeks, Bob Przybylo and Justin Hite are going to reveal their top 11 players on offense and defense and how those players will impact what happens on the field this fall. Let the countdown and debates begin.


No. 4

Bob Przybylo: Offensive tackle Daryl Williams. Already made reference to the fact Williams would be showing up later in the list, and here he is now.

Williams has never ever been a vocal player. Never was his role when had guys like Gabe Ikard and Bronson Irwin to shoulder that responsibility. But take a look and realize Williams is practically entering his third season as a starter.

He started every game in 2013 and started 10 in 2012 before getting injured. And in spring interviews, it seems like Williams understands he is going to have to step up to the plate more vocally with the team and the media.

The media has liked what it has heard as he was one of four OU players selected to the All-Big 12 preseason team released earlier this week.

One reason why OU is considered such a strong contender to make the four-team college football playoff is because of the experience it has on the offensive line, especially with its offensive tackles.

Williams will no doubt anchor what should be a stout Bill Bedenbaugh group.

Justin Hite: Offensive tackle Tyrus Thompson. The first check of the month is always for rent. The second is for insurance. Thompson is Trevor Knight’s insurance check.

While he’s probably the second-best tackle on the team, Thompson is the left tackle – protecting Knight’s blindside. That’s exactly why he’s important.

He’ll be spotlighted by defenses as the easier edge with dominant right tackle Darryl Williams on the other side. He’ll have to hold up because Knight will need a little extra time in key situations.

He’ll be solid this year and should come back completely healthy from his injury. There’s something to be said for consistency. If he’s better than that, Knight won’t just be on the Maxwell watch list – he’ll be at least a semifinalist.

Offensive line play is the single most important part of an offense (hint, hint on my No. 1 player). Thompson could take his game to the next level, and in turn, he would make Oklahoma’s offense all that much better.

A stellar season from Thompson might do more for the Sooners than a better than average year for anyone else.

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