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.
Interior offensive line
What we know?
Coming out of spring, one out of the three starting interior line spots has convincingly been filled. Jonathan Alvarez is the clear-cut starter at center, and by all accounts and a little reading between the lines, he might wind up better than departed captain Ty Darlington, immediately.
At the guard positions, there are still a few more questions. Cody Ford has been the talk of spring camp and seems like a massive favorite to start at left guard. On the other side, there are about five players still vying for the spot. Right tackle Dru Samia played a bit at right guard a bit in the spring and the Red-White game. Jamal Danley started spring camp as the favorite but was injured for the spring game. Junior college transfer Ben Powers seems to be the starter now, but there might be no question as to the starter if Alex Dalton was healthy for spring.
We know a lot about two of the interior line spots. As for the third…
What we need to know?
Oklahoma has to figure out who its starting right guard will be. There are plenty of options, but the most intriguing might be moving Samia inside – something that the coaching staff has talked more and more about over the last month. That switch would push Christian Daimler into the starting line-up or maybe make room for Bobby Evans, who looked as good as anyone in the spring game. Evans is a left tackle though but moving him to right for the time being could be a huge benefit for both the Sooners and Evans.
Dalton might be healthy enough to start or earn his spot in preseason camp, but it’s unlikely.
The Sooners have options at right guard, which is better than hoping someone plays well enough. They just have to choose in a few months.
What the coaches are saying?
“I think we’re gonna be a deeper group. We’re gonna have more guys that can play. I think we have more competition on that line that we did last year. I think we’re gonna be a more talented group than we were last year. There’s still a lot to be seen. At this time last year we had no idea that Orlando Brown was gonna start at tackle. We didn’t have any idea that Alvarez was gonna be a starter at guard. Dru Samia wasn’t even here yet.” – Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley