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.
Wide receiver/tight end
What we know?
Dede Westbrook is Oklahoma’s next No. 1 receiver. He finished last year with 46 catches and 743 yards, and by all accounts, Westbrook is ready to make a big step after deciding to not enter the NFL Draft – something that had been a thought midway through last season.
There’s more anticipated depth behind him than there was behind Sterling Shepard over the previous two years. Mark Andrews looks like he’ll be a bigger weapon. Geno Lewis, Jarvis Baxter, Jeffery Mead and AD Miller, from the look of the spring game, will all play a much bigger role. Even Michiah Quick has been more consistent.
What we need to know?
There are no guarantees, though. There’s not much proven depth, and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.
Quick has had potential for two years. Dahu Green overshadowed Miller last year. Lewis and Baxter have experience but only 110 catches in five combined seasons. They had only 37 catches for 414 yards combined last year – fewer than three receivers on Oklahoma’s roster last season.
A big portion of last year’s offense was still Shepard.
Oklahoma has to prove that it won’t be just Westbrook this year because Westbrook is no Shepard.
What the coaches are saying?
“We can definitely be better. I’d be disappointed if we weren’t better. It’s the second year for those guys. We’ve had a chance to recruit and develop some guys in here, and we think that group is just gonna get better and better. Will we have one outstanding player that was as good as Sterling? I don’t know. I think Dede Westbrook is getting ready to have a big year. I think a couple guys are. But as a whole, I think we can be a more consistent group and more explosive group and we can have more depth. Their knowledge of the offense combined with having a quarterback back and the guys we have in the backfield. . . . They’re gonna get some opportunities. I would hope we’re gonna be more consistent and better all the way around.” – Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley