Fabulous Freshmen Part 1: DE's, DB's, TE's and QB

James Hale talks with each OU position coach about the progress of the Sooners redshirt freshmen

It is the nature of Oklahoma Sooner football fans everywhere to wonder what the future will be like. Who will step up and be the next Sooner stars on the gridiron?

Considering the Sooners excellent recruiting prowess, it is assumed that star after star is waiting in the wings for an opportunity to shine under the grand skyline of Owen Field. What young player is already projected as a starter in the future? Which ones will truly be Sooner greats?

Over the next few days the Sooner assistant coaches will give their thoughts on the players that are currently redshirting or playing as true freshman at their position. It's early, but it's not too early to try to find out who the next gamebreakers are within the Sooner football program.

DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD
Players redshirted are Avery Shine, Eric Bassey, Bobby Klinck and Jowahn Poteat.

Coach Mike Stoops:
"We are really pleased with how some of our young kids are playing. Jowahn Poteat shows great promise. Eric Bassey is improving and those are two guys that we think can make in immediate impact here very soon. Avery Shine is coming on. He had a late start, but he seems to be picking things up and getting better as we go along. Justin Williams is going through the same thing in that he keeps getting better. Bobby Klinck has been on the fringe all year of breaking into some playing time for us. However, we have been able to protect his redshirt. All five of those guys show that they can play and help this football team. They will get their opportunity next year.

JH: What positions are they playing at the moment?

MS: Poteat is a true corner, while Bassey can play either corner or safety. The rest of the guys are pretty flexible and can really play all the positions. We use three safeties now so we need a little more depth at safety than we used to. Using those three safeties the way we do, we seem to be using that configuration more than our normal configuration. We just work on getting the best players in position to play at their top ability. We will find their best positions just like we did Antonio Perkins.

TIGHT END:
Redshirted is Chris Chester. James Moses is a Prop-42 student.

Coach Jonathan Hayes:
"James Moses and Chris Chester both do a nice job for us. They are both are really coming along. The nice thing for us is that on Monday's we let the young guys go at it and both of them have had some nice catches and big plays. That has given them confidence to keep helping them mature as tight ends."

"Chris hasn't played that much tight end really, because he played in the Wing-T in high school. He has run with the ball and done some things with the ball skill-wise, but it's nice to get him out and make him run pass routes, and be more precise in his route running. He is a big body guy who runs really well. His upside is the sky."

"The same thing goes for James Moses. He has great hands and has a great feel for the game. He came from a great program (North Shore) down in Houston, Texas and he does a really great job of having awareness and a sense of what is going on around him."

JH: Are they similar type players?

JHayes: Yes and no. Bubba (Moses) has probably done more blocking, so he is more physical with his blocking. Chris is a big guy, but he is a finesse guy, even though he is the bigger guy. Bubba will go in and bang on those backers and create space for himself, while Chris is still learning how to do those things. So, both are doing well and doing a good job for us.

DEFENSIVE END:
True freshman Jonathan Jackson is currently running second team.

Coach: Bobby Jack Wright:
"He has a really good future, a bright future in fact. He is a good, young talent, who I have wanted to play more than I have. I will play him a lot more the rest of the way this season. We are getting into the point where we have a lot of nicks and bruises and the guys are beginning to show the beating and wear-n-tear that they absorb over the course of the season. We have strived to play two defensive ends all year long and Jonathan Jackson will be in the mix from here on out. Jonathan is very quick and he is a great competitor. He needs to get bigger, which he will in our offseason. However, even now he can compete despite the fact he is a little undersized.

QUARTERBACK
Redshirted is Brent Rawls.

Coach Chuck Long:
"Brent has really progressed well this fall for a young guy who has to learn our system. Our system is very complicated and it takes a while to learn that. Josh Heupel is a great example of what being a quarterback here is all about. Quarterbacking here is about 90 percent mental. You have a ten percent physical part. Now, it helps to have talent, but you need a great mind and you need to know the offense. You need to know all the little fundamentals that go along with this offense. He is coming along great. Brent does have physical talent, but right now his mind needs to catch up with his talent and it is not quite there yet."

JH: What kind of talent do you see.

CL: Brent has a great arm, excellent mobility and his future is very bright here. We still need to find out what kind of mobility he has. Those are the kind of things that you find out in scrimmages and games. It is hard to determine in organized scrimmages, when he has a blue shirt on back there and nobody can touch him.

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