After two weeks of spotty play with the offense, it’s not time to hit the panic button at Oklahoma, but it could be time to try something new.
OU has signed eight wide receivers in the last two classes. Eight. It’s time to see what some of these guys can do.
“We have a lot of good young players who have not played a lot,” wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said. “In situations like that, it’s usually because of the guy in front of them.
“A lot of the younger guys have been on training wheels. It’s time to take those training wheels off.”
Here are some of those guys who might be learning to ride a two-wheeler this week, in order of most likely to least likely.
Quick has been the one who has seen the most time even though he doesn’t have a catch. A high four-star prospect coming out of high school, Quick was supposed to be the crown jewel of OU’s Class of 2014 at the position.
“Quick is a really good young player,” Norvell said. “He’s a young kid. He has made some mistakes. He just has to keep on developing.”
Quick saw time early and then disappeared for a couple of weeks, struggling to make the transition. He is back to seeing more regular time, including some crucial moments in the fourth quarter, but Saturday feels like a good time for his first catch.
If there was one guy thought to be a for sure redshirt, it was Mead. But after six games and since the redshirt is gone anyway, start using him. Start using his 6-foot-5 frame and letting him use that size. He has been able to pick up the offense faster than most and would be a great threat to use on the outside.
Smallwood seemed like he was destined to become the breakout star of the group in the spring. Not sure if he has suffered a setback or if he can’t just earn the opportunity because of who is in front of him. Smallwood is the only other receiver with a catch with two receptions for 10 yards. He’s physical and has quality size. Let him start using that physicality to his advantage.
Sort of the forgotten one in all this, but Norvell brought his name up Monday about somebody who needs to emerge. Cavil was hampered by injuries when camp started so he has had to play catch up. His size made him extremely attractive coming out of high school. It’s time to see if he can produce at the next level.
Sooners Illustrated asked about these two last week, and Bob Stoops said no regarding burning their redshirt. It wasn’t just a no, but a resounding one word answer – no. Both dressed vs. Texas, though, and both are expected to be huge impact players down the road because they’re both taller than 6-4. Need a spark? Maybe youth is the answer.
No idea if one of these guys is the answer for OU’s lack of playmaking right now at receiver, but now is as good as a time as any to find out.
“Those guys are different players,” Norvell said. “As coaches, sometimes our job is to buy a little time to get those practice reps in. They’re not the same as they were two months ago. We expect those guys to develop and make an impact before the season is over. We’re going to keep on developing them and put them in situations where they can help us.”
And it might have to happen sooner than later.