During the next two months leading up to the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Sooners Illustrated will breakdown the Oklahoma Sooners roster, starting with Jarvis Baxter (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Marquise Overton (No. 98) and the incoming freshmen.
We’ll look at last year’s performance, the best-case scenario for this season – without projecting injuries – and what each player means to the short-term or long-term success of the Sooners.
No. 78 – OT Orlando Brown (6-foot-8, 357 pounds)
What happened last year: It wasn’t a complete surprise, but as preseason camp dragged on, it became clear that Oklahoma was going with the gigantic redshirt freshman as its starting left tackle. Brown then went on to start 13 games and was named to the Sporting News Freshman All-American team. The three-star recruit is now a potential All-American candidate.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 8. Brown was the preseason All-Big 12 left tackle and with that comes its own importance. The spotlight wasn’t on Brown last season, but it certainly is bright heading into Brown’s second full season on the field. He’ll need to be even better this season, which is saying a lot since he was probably the best and most consistent offensive lineman for the Sooners last season. Quarterback Baker Mayfield still took a lot of sacks, only a small handful of which were on Brown. He’ll be looked at this year to be the best lineman on the team – something that was a surprise last year. Brown also needs to take that leadership jump as well after two senior captains left the line from last season.
Best-case scenario for this season: Without injuries, Brown has a strong chance to be an All-American and a first-team All-Big 12 performer. Those goals are definitely within reach. He likely won’t head to the NFL, but the perfect sophomore season would add a lot of hype to his junior year campaign as far as the draft is concerned. Brown will no doubt by eyeing a big zero – as in sacks allowed. By the end of the season, if there’s even a hint of Brown leaving for the NFL, he’s had a pretty miraculous season. In all likelihood (and a realistic best-case), he’s back at Oklahoma for one more season as a preseason All-American in his junior year.