Spring is finally over for the Oklahoma Sooners. It’s time to look toward preseason camp and the 2016 season. But first, we’ve got to look back in order to look forward.
Oklahoma capped its spring practice season with the Red-White game, showcasing a handful of good and a handful of bad as well.
Over the next week, Sooners Illustrated will break down each position. We’ll see what we’ve learned and what we still need to find out. We’ll cap it with a post-spring depth chart prediction.
Here it goes.
What we know?
First of all, Oklahoma returns one of the best quarterback in the nation. Baker Mayfield finished fourth in voting for the Heisman Trophy. He was the second-best quarterback in the country based on those voting numbers.
But Mayfield was knocked out of two games last season, Trevor Knight transferred to Texas A&M, where he will start the season opener, and Cody Thomas might have seen his last football game, having picked baseball this spring.
Heading into this spring, it was clear Oklahoma was going to have a hole at back-up quarterback, a position that will come of some use during this season. Mayfield missed time, and almost no quarterbacks across the country came away unscathed last season. It’s nearly inevitable that a second quarterback will have to play significant snaps.
Spring showed that Austin Kendall is more than capable of playing the back-up role and that the 2017 quarterback race between Kendall and Kyler Murray will be thrilling. That’s a debate for another time. The spring game showed that Kendall has prepared well enough to look ready to play in just a few weeks on campus.
At quarterback, Oklahoma is in very good hands moving into the 2016 season.
What we need to know?
There are two major questions surrounding Oklahoma’s quarterback play: Can Mayfield stay healthy by adjusting his play (and does Oklahoma even want him to) and how will Kendall look when the lights are on for real?
There’s almost no doubt that Mayfield will miss time, and Kendall looked good in the spring game. But the early enrollee freshman was wearing the yellow and blue jersey. Oklahoma fans have seen the good and the bad of a quarterback who looked invincible when he couldn’t be touched. It hasn’t always stayed the same with linebackers bearing down.
Kendall has to prove the spring game wasn’t a fluke. Mayfield needs to stay on the field, so that Kendall doesn’t have to show much.
What the coaches are saying?
“We’ve gotten better at that position. We’re better around them. We’ve turned it over less this spring as a whole than we did last spring. I was happy to see when we got people in the stands that we kept playing how we’ve played for the most part this spring.” – Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley