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. 56 – C Ty Darlington (6-foot-2, 299 pounds)
3,395 team rushing yards, 2,646 team passing yards
What happened last year: As the youngest and least experienced member of a special offensive line last season, Darlington looked the part. He was beaten at times, showing that he was a bit small. Still, he held together a line that could have been considered the best in the country. Glue isn’t the strongest part of a wall, but it’s an important part.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 10. Once an understudy and now the teacher: Darlington will have to grow up very quickly as the de facto leader of the Oklahoma offensive line. Darlington has never shied away from the spotlight off the field, taking charge in multiple capacities and excelling each time. It’s on the field where he’ll face his greatest test. The Sooners need Darlington to not only be the voice of the offensive line but the brawn of it as well as they bringing in the next generation. Oklahoma needs a bridge. Darlington needs to be it.
Best-case scenario for this season: It’s probably not possible for Oklahoma to equal the numbers that it posted last year from the offensive line. Oklahoma wouldn’t average six yards per carry and rush for 3,395 – with or without a change in offense – because of the departing seniors. But five yards per carry and 2,500 yards is doable. They might pass for more than 2,600 yards but probably won’t allow less than 10 sacks for the second straight season. Anything less than 20 quarterback takedowns would be pretty good though. Those are probably the numbers Darlington is aiming for as well. A stout season could also turn into a mid-round draft.