It’s easy to forget there were three high school mid-year enrollees for Oklahoma’s 2016 class. With a lot of the attention on quarterback Austin Kendall, offensive lineman Logan Roberson and defensive back Chanse Sylvie didn’t receive a lot of recognition this spring.
But if you talk to the players and the coaches, sounds like that’s about to change. Instead of being at Harrah’s Prom on Saturday, Roberson was busy being the second-team center and someone players are already pointing at as someone to watch.
“He’s real strong,” defensive tackle Marquise Overton said. “I’m not going to lie about that. He’s still probably got a lot of stuff to learn and everybody’s just doing a good job.”
Roberson came in with a chip on his shoulder. Ranked as one of the lowest signees for OU’s 2016 class, there were a lot of people who wondered if he earned the right be at OU or if he was given the privilege because of his relationship with former OU player-turned trainer J.D. Runnels.
One thing nobody could question about Roberson is his strength. He was like that in high school, and it has no doubt carried over during his first few months in Norman.
Is it too early to call him the next center? Remains to be seen, but he appears to be in the process of being groomed to take over for Jonathan Alvarez.
“Logie has some athleticism to him,” Alvarez said. “He’s got some stuff to work on, but he’s doing really good.”
It would be pretty dang near impossible to crack OU’s secondary this season with all that experience coming back. Steven Parker, Ahmad Thomas, Jordan Thomas and Will Johnson – yea, they’ve been around the block a time or two.
So starting isn’t the goal when it comes to Chanse Sylvie, showing he’s dedicated toward becoming like those guys going forward is.
“Chanse has done a great job backing Will Johnson up as a true freshman,” head coach Bob Stoops said. “He’s really done a great job. For that position, he’s really been impressive.”
There were freshman moments for both of them out there Saturday. Roberson had a high, slow-moving snap to Kyler Murray on one effort, and Sylvie whiffed on a tackle on Michiah Quick where Quick scored the final touchdown of the scrimmage.
It’s going to happen, but they’ve made the right impression in the first few months.
Roberson and Sylvie might have more time to grow into their roles, but Kendall, it’s clear, is going to be thrown right into the fire.
In high school four months ago, Kendall is poised to be the backup quarterback to Baker Mayfield for the 2016 season.
“Austin did a really good job all spring,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “He made some really good plays out there. He’s really young. He’s learned the offense. He’s just got here. He should still be in high school. You can tell, just by him being out there, that he’s a mature kid and he’s ready to play.”
Known for his even-keel demeanor, Kendall did little to discourage OU players, fans and coaches about his ability during the spring game.
Mayfield knows spring was just the start for the former four-star quarterback from North Carolina.
“I think he was a little nervous at first but coach Riley did a good job of getting him some handoffs and some quick, easy throws that he knew he could handle,” Mayfield said. “Once he settled in he made some good throws. I know he had a couple drops but he put the ball on target for the most part.
“I’m proud of him and it’s the first time playing in front of a big crowd like that and I know it can be a little nerve wracking but he handled it well.”