With the season just around the corner, Sooners Illustrated is going to take a shot at guessing who will be the 11 players who make the biggest impact for Oklahoma in the 2015 season.
This version of the OU 11 is not based on how important they are to the team, but instead is based on what their projected production will be in the eyes of publisher Bob Przybylo.
Each weekday we'll be counting them down. Without further ado, the OU 11: Best performers.
No. 4 RB Samaje Perine
This is not a knock on Perine. If he’s the fourth best player for the Sooners this season, it’s not an indicator of a season that went down the drain.
He gets this ranking because the passing game should improve immensely, and the defense should get back up to standards OU fans know and love. And when you add in Joe Mixon into the equation, Perine isn’t going to need Heisman Trophy numbers for OU to be successful.
A major question is going to be Perine’s health. He’s already missed a few days of camp with a minor knee injury, but the key will be to make sure those are minor and never turn into major concerns.
The Big 12 wasn’t ready for Perine last year. Now with a year to prepare and adjust, it’s going to be interesting if anybody has the recipe for how to stop Perine. The obvious solution is to go down low, which is why Perine’s health will be such an issue to watch.
It’s obvious the hype is not bothering him. He’s still the same Perine mentally he was last year and losing weight to add speed should help in the long run. A quality season is necessary, but not a Heisman-caliber one for OU.