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. 81 – TE Mark Andrews (6-foot-6, 247 pounds)
What happened last year: Andrews took a redshirt in his first year on campus but still caught the attention of the Sooners’ community with the stories of his accomplishment on the practice squad. All that is leading up to what could be a special redshirt freshman season.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 8. There might not be a more unique weapon in the Oklahoma offense than Andrews. Remember him carrying defensive backs in the spring game? It is impossible to forget what he did in the Red and White game. He’ll be one of the top three options this year at receiver – right behind Sterling Shepard and Dede Westbrook. He might even pass Westbrook. No matter where he is on a target scale, he’ll be key for the Sooners offensive attack. He’s a mismatch nightmare – too fast for linebackers out of the slot and too big for cornerbacks. Heck, he’s probably too big for most safeties, too. Oklahoma’s roster as it was last year wasn’t going to be able to run Lincoln Riley’s scheme. Andrews changes that.
Best-case scenario for this season: When opposing secondaries key on Shepard and then Westbrook, who explodes as teams try and take away Shepard, Andrews shows just how dominant he can be. Even without an altering defensive strategy, Andrews will play a big role. In a perfect world, Andrews becomes the go-to option on third downs, and he excels in that role. Ultimately, Andrews finished the season with more than 45 catches and 800 yards. In an offensive scheme that routinely struggles in the red zone, Andrews becomes a touchdown machine, scoring 10 touchdowns.