OU battles: Right tackle

Two redshirt freshman pursue an redshirt senior for the starting role

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.

Right tackle battle - Derek Farniok vs. Kenyon Frison vs. Orlando Brown

Who will be the starter?

Case for Derek – If experience is the most important factor in determining who will start on the right side, then there’s no competition. Farniok has twice as much time the Oklahoma roster than Brown and Frison combined.

Farniok has played in 27 games in his career, including one start two seasons ago in the wake of injury. Right now, he’s the starter.

It’s his job to lose.

Case for Kenyon – It might be Farniok’s job, but it’s Frison’s to take. Frison has obviously more of a future than Farniok as a right-side bookend.

A four-star recruit coming in to Oklahoma, Frison has tons of potential and now has a chance to be a four-year starter with the Sooners. He was the talk of camp last year, but now it’s time for him to realize all of it.

Case for Orlando – Left tackle isn’t up for grabs. If Brown has to start there, then something has gone horribly wrong with Josiah St. John.

In all likelihood, Brown doesn’t play on the right side either unless he’s way too good to keep off the field.

Brown and Frison have a chance to be three-year starters at the bookend spots by next season – and maybe that’s the best-case scenario for Oklahoma.

Verdict – Game 1 starter is Farniok. That probably doesn’t change too much during preseason camp.

The bigger question is: Who is the starter for the start of the Big 12 Conference season or by the end of the year?

Frison needs to be the starter by next season, and it might be best for the confidence of everyone around the Oklahoma program if he wins the starting job before it is forced upon him.


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