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OU 17-for-2017: Is this the best offensive line for Bob Stoops?

The OU 17-for-2017 continues with a look at offensive line and the incredible depth the Sooners have.

It’s about that time again. Expectations are high. Questions abound. Yep, it’s time for Oklahoma spring football.

The Sooners, coming off an 11-2 season where they won the Big 12 championship and the Sugar Bowl, will no doubt be expected to be in the national championship and playoff hunt once again.

The calendar turns to March. The page officially turns to 2017, and although things look rosy for OU, there are still plenty of unanswered questions going forward.

What are those? That’s where Sooners Illustrated comes in. We’ll take a look at one pressing question each day leading up to OU starting spring practice March 21. The spring game is April 8.

Sooners Illustrated’s 17 questions for spring 2017

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Is this Bob Stoops’ best offensive line?

You hate to be prisoner of the moment, but when you look at what offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has been able to do at offensive line, it’s a legit question.

A lot of people point toward 2008 as the best group for the Sooners. Eh, hard to argue so it won’t be easy for 2017 to surpass every group in the Bob Stoops era.

Here, though, is why it can be done. You have your anchor in left tackle Orlando Brown. A future first-round draft pick in the NFL, Brown was dominant last year and should only get better as a redshirt junior.

You have your quiet leader in center Erick Wren. Not talked about too much at the time, but Wren getting another year of eligibility seems like it’s going to be a pretty big deal for the Sooners this season.

Redshirt freshman Bobby Evans had ups and downs at right tackle, but persevered through it and now seems like he’ll cement his spot there.

The depth at offensive guard is crazy between Dru Samia, Ben Powers, Cody Ford, Alex Dalton and Jonathan Alvarez.

The versatility is welcomed with open arms of Samia (guard/tackle), Dalton (guard/center) and Alvarez (guard/center).

And competition is encouraged. Saw a couple of times in 2016 when Bedenbaugh would make changes on the line that had nothing to do with injury but based on quality of play. When you have to earn your spot instead of getting it by default, usually makes everybody a lot better.

Bedenbaugh has been striking the right chords since arriving in Norman, and he’s got his best bunch to work with this year.


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