OU 15 questions for spring '15: No. 5

The countdown of OU's biggest spring questions continues with a look at Joe Mixon.

Oklahoma spring football is just around the corner. Coming off a disappointing 2014 season, all Sooner fans are looking forward to turning the page to 2015.

Every edition of spring practices bring along questions, but there has arguably never been a more fascinating and uncertain spring than the one OU is about to begin.

Sooners Illustrated is here to help. During these next 15 days, we are going to pose one major question each day regarding OU’s 2015 spring football issues.

The countdown will end March 6, the final day before OU’s first day of practice and coincidentally, OU’s second junior day event and OU basketball’s showdown vs. Kansas in a huge day in OU sports. After spring practice, we will revisit these same 15 questions and see what has been answered and what remains left to be figured out.

Question No. 5: What role will Joe Mixon play?

If you want to find a silver lining to the Mixon saga, you could look at everything like this. Mixon just happens to be a five-star recruit for the 2015 class instead of the 2014.

Does that work? Mixon has served his time, after being suspended for the entire season after an off the field incident in July. Everyone, from coaches to players, has said Mixon has put in the hard work to get back into the good graces of the team.

So he’s back in the good graces, but is he going to be able to recover from missing a full season’s worth of practices, film study, conditioning, etc.? Mixon had to train on his own, and there’s no real way to know how the last six months have affected him physically and mentally.

His mindset doesn’t seem to be in question but that could just be the persona he wants to display in public. No idea what that night in July has done to him.

Should he be able to bounce back, Mixon seems tailor-made for the Lincoln Riley offense. Mixon was known as a solid pass catcher out of the backfield, and there’s no doubt OU’s running backs will have to do that in 2015.

It won’t be easy to unseat Samaje Perine as the starting running back, but we all know one thing Mixon doesn’t do is lack in confidence.

His return to social media was a big one, an Instagram photo of him doing the Heisman Trophy pose wearing the No. 25 OU jersey. Again, no lack of confidence.

He’s ready to be back, and now we’ll all get to see if he is worth the hype.

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