During the next two months leading up to the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Sooners Illustrated will breakdown the Oklahoma Sooners’ roster, starting with Dominique Alexander (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Dwayne Orso (No. 99) and the incoming freshmen.
We’ll look at last year’s performance, the best-case scenario for this season – without projecting injuries – and what each player means to the short-term or long-term success of the Sooners.
No. 11 – WR Dede Westbrook (6-foot-1, 167 pounds)
What happened last year: At Blinn Community College, Westbrook became one of the top JuCo receivers in the country. In just eight games, he finished with a JuCo-best 1,487 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named to the NJCAA All-America First Team. An elite receiver, Westbrook was able to do just about anything on the field for Blinn CC.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 7. Westbrook steps in immediately as the No. 2 receiver for the Sooners. He will likely be the top outside-only receiver with Sterling Shepard more likely to bounce around – playing a little inside when needed. Westbrook also has a huge chance to be Oklahoma’s punt returner, a position that needed a serious upgrade after last year’s 87 total return yards – an average of 5.8 per return. Oklahoma’s opponents averaged 10.6 yards per return. Westbrook can fill the two biggest holes in Oklahoma’s offense, but if he doesn’t, the offensive scheme will help more than it did last season.
Best-case scenario for this season: Is it possible that Westbrook could replicate his JuCo numbers in his first season with Oklahoma? There’s no denying that’s it’s a possibility. It would have to be considered a best-case scenario – that and about a 10-yard per return average as Oklahoma’s punt returner. Westbrook has a shot at those numbers. There doesn’t seem like it would be extreme to think that Westbrook could eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley’s attack as the one of the top two targets.