Preseason camp nears for the Oklahoma Sooners, who are looking to rebound from what can only be described as a disappointment.
There’s new blood to lead the Sooners. On offense, Lincoln Riley begins his first season with Oklahoma and his first as a major conference coordinator. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops plans to work from the box this season and has two new assistants helping to mold the defense.
What happens on the field will be more important than what happens on the sideline, though. Oklahoma still has a few battles yet to be decided. Over the next week, Sooners Illustrated will examine those battles.
Case for Michiah – Seeing Quick in the open field with plenty of space is an exciting premise for any Oklahoma fan.
He has game-changing ability and showed it as a true freshman toward the end of the season. He’ll only be better this year and could be a scary weapon out of the slot – capable of more than 60 catches. Hands are still the big question.
Case for Durron – Of the five, Neal has the most experience – and it’s not even close. But the three-year contributor has not lived up to expectations yet. In his final season, he’ll hope to final reach his peak.
Three years, 36 games played and Neal still has just 58 catches and 764 career yards. That’s less than two catches per game and barely more than 20 yards per contest. Last year was by far his best, though, and he’ll try to build on it this season.
He has to show more consistency.
Case for Jeffery – Mead is an intriguing case. He probably should have caught a redshirt last year but played just one real snap.
He possesses a nice set of skills and showed great development with his play in the spring game. He’s been catching a lot of the talk during summer workouts.
His length makes him an immediate threat no matter where he lines up. He’s still a little thin and obviously lacks experience.
Case for Dallis – Todd is a bit of a wild card. He hasn’t been mentioned a ton during the offseason – not like Mead. The two have a similar skillset, though. Both have size and solid hands.
A little shorter and a little heavier than Mead, Todd is still a viable option. He’ll probably need a strong preseason to earn a starting role.
Case for Adrian – Of the three true freshmen, it seems as though Miller is standing out more than Dahu Green or John Humphrey. Now, it could be one of the other two, but we’ll look at it like Miller, who might have the most well-rounded skillset of the bunch, is the first man up.
Verdict – Oklahoma’s fourth receiver might be a bit of a fluid situation. Sterling Shepard, Mark Andrews and Dede Westbrook seem like the obvious top 3. Westbrook should be on the outside, Andrews on the inside and Shepard at wherever he best helps the team. None of the potential No. 4 receivers have the ability of Shepard. Depending on where he is, the No. 4 receiver could be one of two players. If Shepard is one the inside, it’s probably Mead. If he steps outside, where he played most of last season, Quick will jump in.
No matter what, it’ll be a pretty fluid rotation.