OU commit in focus: Dede Westbrook

Continue our analysis of OU's monster recruiting week with a look at juco WR Dede Westbrook.

You can question the development of Oklahoma wide receivers in the last few years with Jay Norvell, but he has been hitting home runs in the junior college and transfer department.

OU is going to need a game-changer for next season, and the Sooners certainly believe they have found that guy in Brenham (Texas) Blinn CC four-star prospect Dede Westbrook.

There are so many hypotheticals to address when talking about the OU receiver position going forward, starting off with what happens with Dorial Green-Beckham. You have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst, obviously.

Nobody, well, hardly anybody can duplicate what DGB brings to the table, but Westbrook is somebody who is going to stretch the field despite not being as tall or big as Green-Beckham.

Maybe OU had been eyeing Westbrook all season or maybe Norvell and the coaches realized mid-season something had to change going forward. Whatever the reason, OU went all-in with Westbrook, and it worked with his commitment last week.

The part some people are missing when it comes to Westbrook is just how big of a difference he is going to be as a returner on special teams. He can either complement Alex Ross on kickoffs, or he can own the show as a punt returner or do both.

OU just hasn’t been able to have that hold your breath moment this season in the punt return game. It’s not a slight to Sterling Shepard, who does a number of things incredibly well, but punt returning just hasn’t been it so far.

You have to figure with Westbrook’s experience and background at the spot, he’s going to be the guy until somebody shows otherwise why he shouldn’t.

There won’t be a learning curve for Westbrook because there can’t be. He only has two years to do everything he wants to do. And if things work out in a perfect world, he’ll help OU to the championship next season and leave for the NFL to support his three kids.

If OU can get a trio of Westbrook, Shepard and Green-Beckham, that is an incredibly dangerous group of receivers for whoever ends up the OU quarterback next season.

Names like Justin Brown, Lacoltan Bester and Jalen Saunders have meant a lot to OU in recent years despite not being recruited to OU initially. The Sooners certainly hope Westbrook is the next major juco impact player.


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