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. 95 – DE Austin Roberts (6-foot-6, 279 pounds)
What happened last year: The giant junior college transfer played in five games last season. He didn’t register a tackle, but he made strides in adjusting to the major conference game. Roberts proved enough that he should be a viable back-up this season for the Sooners.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 4. In the mix with Du'Vonta Lampkin and Neville Gallimore, Roberts will be vital in a depth role. He’s probably the frontrunner behind Matt Dimon in the defensive end role – not behind Charles Walker in the tackle/end hybrid spot. From there, he’ll see some action as a primary pass-rushing option. That’s Roberts’ specialty. Roberts was the only one of the three primary back-ups that played last season, and he has by far the most collegiate experience of the trio. If Roberts doesn’t have much success, it won’t spoil things for Oklahoma, either.
Best-case scenario for this season: Roberts could start the season as the primary back-up to Dimon, but any of the three primary back-ups could play either spot along the line, which means Roberts has two chances to earn a spot but also has to fend off two contenders for a primary back-up role. If he serves immediately behind Dimon and/or Walker, it’ll be a pretty good year. Of course, Roberts’ first career tackle would be a plus also. Roberts should remain in the rotation all season, and he could receive a few mentions (or demands) for more playing time.