The Sooners should also see the return of receiver Sterling Shepard, who exceptional in the first seven games of the season before a groin injury essentially ended his regular season.
Shepard, Westbrook and Dorial Green-Beckham? Now that gets OU fan salivating just a bit. The deadline is fast approaching for Green-Beckham to make that choice, and OU coach Bob Stoops said there is no truth one way or the other regarding his future.
“I feel as though he is,” said Stoops about Green-Beckham being undecided right now. “That’s something we will continue to talk about. I don’t feel that he has made a decision yet.”
Green-Beckham is eligible to declare for the NFL Draft since he is three years removed from being in high school. And it’s going to be awfully tough to make a compelling argument against it.
A five-star prospect coming out of high school, Green-Beckham was definitely on his way to living up to all of his potential. In two seasons at Missouri, he had 87 catches for 1,278 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Off the field problems brought him to OU, and the scenery change has done him good even if he wasn’t allowed to see the field for the Sooners this season.
Stoops said Green-Beckham isn’t alone among his players in terms of NFL teams looking at coming to OU for the draft.
“We have already had discussions with them, but we will again once their NFL grades come back and what their projections are,” Stoops said. “I think that’s an important part of it. Regardless of what’s out there, people who want to be the analysts, they don’t really know.
“Let’s get the people who do it, their opining, and then we have more discussions.”
Not having Green-Beckham was very noticeable for the Sooners this season, especially after the injury to Shepard. Receivers who are 6-foot-6, 225 pounds and have great hands and speed don’t just grow on trees.
When discussing the bowl practices, wide receiver’s coach Jay Norvell made it clear he realizes what the Sooners have, at least for now, in Green-Beckham.
“Dorial is pretty good,” said Norvell, followed by a long pause. “We try to educate all of our players on the pluses and minuses of everything. Everybody has different experiences, and we try to share all of those things with the players to help them.
“Every player is unique. Everything that he brings to the table will be looked at really closely. It can only help him to be here for another year, to be a part of our program.”
Stoops and Norvell obviously understand if Green-Beckham does bolt for the NFL. Considered by most draft analysts to be a sure-fire first-round pick, there’s a lot to take into consideration. Norvell said there’s no agenda among OU.
“We’re going to talk through all the scenarios,” Norvell said. “He has great role models in his family. He has a great support system here, too.”