Five players to watch at OU camp

Some on offense, some on defense: Each player could make a big leap forward

Preseason camp has officially begun for the Oklahoma Sooners in preparation for the 2015 season and the Sept. 5 opener against Akron.

Here’s a look at five players to keep an eye on during the next month:

Charles Walker, DE - Oklahoma has to replace a lot of talent on the defensive line with a group players that don’t have a ton of experience.

Not only is Jordan Phillips gone but so is Chuka Ndulue, who didn’t have superior athletic ability but was an elite technician. Walker is the prime candidate to be an elite pass rusher alongside Charles Tapper. A lot has been made of Walker’s skill, and it’s finally time for him to realize all that talk.

He’s gotta make up for Phillips’ lost production.

Dede Westbrook, WR - The Sooners’ passing game was in shambles last year when Sterling Shepard missed the latter half of the season with an injury.

Westbrook is the remedy to that situation this year.

He’s look great thus far in camp, but he has to continue to prove that. Oklahoma can’t afford to have anything but the best possible season from its No. 2 option at receiver.

Jonathan Alvarez, OG - There are still two spots on the offensive line left unaccounted for, and Alvarez has been rocketing up the depth chart behind junior college transfer Jamal Danley.

Right now, it’s pretty close.

There are a handful of young offensive linemen on the roster that are primed to make a big jump. Any of them could have been on this list (Hint: Keep an eye on all of them).

Alvarez is the closest to making an impact right now.

Frank Shannon, MLB - With Shannon on the field, Oklahoma is a better defense than with him off out it. Obviously he’s been away from the field for some time, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly what role he plays and how well he plays.

He can be an immediate impact player on defense, and Oklahoma can always use more of those.

Steven Parker, DB - The secondary needed an overhaul: Almost 300 yards per game isn’t going to cut it.

The idea was the move linebacker Eric Striker out of coverage and lean on Parker in the all-important position of nickel back. He has to perform there because there isn’t really anyone else to take his spot.

Last season, there were flashes of Parker’s potential but just as many issues in coverage. He’s cleaned it up a bit, but this camp will be big.

Who are you watching?

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