Sam Bradford heads in to the summer with the comforting knowledge that he will most likely get the chance to take his first snaps (and hopefully all snaps of the 2008 season) behind one of the most veteran and talent laden offensive lines in the country.
Phil Loadholt, George Robinson, Jon Cooper, Brandon Braxton, and Brandon Walker look to build upon the success of last years season and take it on step further, but it may be hard to top a season where they cleared the way for their quarterback to lead the nation in pass efficiency.
As a matter of fact they only allowed 14 sacks all season, with three of them coming in the Fiesta Bowl loss to West Virginia. They did not allow a sack at all in games against Missouri, Baylor, Texas A&M, Tulsa, and North Texas.
The line was not only protecting Bradford, but they were equally effective in clearing lanes for a powerful rushing attack. All-in-all OU rushed for over 2,670 yards.
Combine that with the over 3,000 yards passing and you start to get a feel for how good the line protected all the way across the board.
This year it appears that the line will be heading in to the fall learning and working on a new no-huddle wrinkle implemented in to their offensive schemes, but Coach Stoops is confident that the veterans are ready to take on the challenge.
"I thought we handled it pretty well the last few days of spring," Stoops responded when asked about the no huddle. "The other offenses are snapping it quicker and I just want to make sure we get the same number of chances."
The Sooners are not the only school that is returning a highly lauded quarterback to the field in 2008. Kansas returns Todd Reesing, Missouri returns Chase Daniel, Texas Tech returns Graham Harrell, and Texas returns Colt McCoy.
"I do not think it is just the South," Bob Stoops said when asked about the strength of the conference and the returning quarterbacks.
"The North teams look pretty good to with everybody that is back. The overall strength of all of the quarterbacks back just make the whole league strong and (I) expect it to be even more so this year."
What the Sooners do have coming back that may give them an edge in many of the natch-ups with these other squads is the veteran line that will feature two Outland Trophy nominees in Loadholt and Robinson.