Best Guess: 2009 Offensive Line

NORMAN, Okla. -- With all the vacancies left behind from the offensive line in 2008, there is plenty of room for new guys to step in. Here is our look at what the starting offensive line might shape up as when the Sooners open against Brigham Young on Sept. 5.

Helmer's 2009 Starting Offensive Line

Left Tackle: Trent Williams

He has been a starter at right tackle for 2 ½ years. In 2006, he took over after Branndon Braxton suffered a broken leg. In 2007, he played all 14 games, and he repeated that in 2008, playing in all the Sooners' 14 contests. Look for him to step over and protect junior quarterback Sam Bradford's blind side next season.

Left Guard: Brian Simmons

He backed up Duke Robinson at the left guard position last season, and as Robinson moves out, look for Simmons to move into the starting position. In 2006, he was the backup left guard and played 74 snaps, recording 10 knockdowns. In 2007, he played in each of the Sooners' 14 games, and he even earned two starting performances against Iowa State and Texas A&M. He should serve in the left guard role for the Sooners next year.

Center: Jason Hannan

He will be in for his first significant collegiate action at center when the Sooners take the field this season. After redshirting in 2007 and backing up veteran center Jon Cooper, look for Hannan to move into the starting role. He was impressive in high school, never allowing a sack in three years of action as a starter and recording 118 pancake blocks his senior season at Waxahachie High School in Texas.

Right Guard: Alex Williams

Another Williams will be on the right side of the line next season, this time at the guard position. He is also a guy that redshirted during the 2007 season. Likewise, giving up sacks was a rarity for him in high school, as he only allowed two in his entire career. Look for him to step up into the starting role that Brandon Walker leaves behind.

Right Tackle: Cory Brandon

With the switch from right to left tackle by Trent Williams, that leads the right tackle position open for 2009. Brandon will swing from the backup left tackle position to the starting right tackle when the Sooners open up next year. He is an explosive, 6-7, 308 lb. guy that has bounced back from an injury that resulted in a medical hardship in 2006.

Powers' 2009 Starting Offensive Line

Left Tackle: Trent Williams

How could anyone beat out Trent for this spot? He was the most dominant offensive lineman in 2008 and there were those out there that believed hat he should have already been the one protecting Bradford's blindside instead of Phil Loadholt. With a strong season on the field and another year growing his body in the OU system he could develop in to a top pf the line NFL'er and a likely first round pick.

Left Guard: Stephen Good

I cannot wait to see Good hit the field. He is an absolute monster in the weight room and is already thought of as the strongest player on the OU team. He is a mellow giant off of the field, but as fierce as they come on it. Simmons would be the safer choice here, but across the board this combo may provide more balance.

Center: Ben Habern

This may end up looking like a bad pick as Jason Hannan has the experience and would honestly be the favorite for starting the season out at center, but I feel that when healthy Habern would emerge as the bets player at the position. It would also not be a a surprise to hear some other names in the mix.

Right Guard: Brian Simmons

Joey and I can agree that a Williams-Simmons duo would be crushing on the left side of the o-line as Bradford should have all day to peg open receivers down the field, so he has proven that he can already play there. In 2008 Simmons was the most valuable back-up and played more minutes than any other offensive line sub. The transition to RG should be easy for him.

Right Tackle: Cory Brandon

Brandon has been dependable in his time at OU, but has missed some good practice reps in 2007 after going down with an injury. Still he looks like the guy that has been getting the calls when the extra game-time opportunities are doled out by Patton, which leads me to believe that he will likely be the guy. That's not to say that this position battle won't go well in to fall camp.


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