Scouting the Big 12: Oklahoma

Bob Stoops has turned a once down trodden OU program into the powerhouse it once was and should be. Finally offering a top ten selection in the draft last April for the first time in a while, they may have more quantity in the '03 draft depending on underclassmen decisions.

Oklahoma Sooners

The offensive prospects are solid, not spectacular.  Antwone Savage is a consistent wide out with natural skills.  He shows a good feel for the game with the hands for the position, making both difficult and important receptions.  Savage took a step up last season but may not have the size/speed numbers to move him into the early part of the draft.  Mark Clayton, only a red-shirt sophomore, does offer some big time skills at receiver and how can he miss with a name like that!  Trent Smith is a decent sized tight end with a tremendous head on his shoulders and makes all the receptions in any area of the field.  He is almost clairvoyant knowing what his quarterback is thinking, no matter who may be taking the snaps, and is the "go-to" guy.  Problem is he's not very fast, has difficulty re-adjusting for the difficult grab and the way OU uses the tight end, its' anyone's guess as to his blocking skills. Right now Smith is a prospect whose post-season performances are critical.  Quentin Griffen is a small (short to the point) scat-back that perfectly fits the Sooner system but must display the element of return specialist if he's to get any serious consideration next April.  While we like the physical skills of quarterback Jason White, he needs to improve his consistency, accuracy and decision-making. 

They lost a ton of leadership on defense but with a year of both physical and athletic maturity, this could be one of the best units Stoops has fielded since landing in Norman.  Andre Woolfolk will play both wide out and cornerback for OU but in the end we like him on the defensive side of the ball.  For one with such limited experience at corner he looked seamless last season in his transition as his cover skills/instincts were top notch.  Woolfolk showed tremendous wherewithal and just excellent overall awareness.  The big question mark on Woolfolk, whether it be at corner or receiver, is his forty-time, an element that will dictate several draft slots.  Considering his size (height) and upside potential he is a real nice prospect.  There is no questioning the physical talents or corner skills of junior Derek Strait.  Strait plays with terrific techniques, speed and skill, displaying the abilities to be a shut down corner.  Not a physical defender, he is intimidated by bigger opponents at times (Strait was pulled off Roy Williams last year in the Red River Rivalry after getting burnt early) but should he iron out the rough edges he is a big-time prospect.  One that does like to fly around the ball and another real good prospect in the Sooner secondary is safety Brandon Everage.  Though the spotlight may have been on Roy Williams last season Everage held his own and is very effective defending both the run and pass.  Like Woolfolk and Strait, as well as many other members of this program, Everage plays a smart brand of football and rarely gets caught out of position (an attribute Stoops should be given credit for).  He needs to improve some of his techniques but is a first day choice when he enters the draft.  Teddy Lehman could be a more athletic version of Rocky Calmus and has a bright future ahead of him while Jimmy Wilkerson could develop into a complete defensive linemen if he adds some bulk. 

While the above mentioned are solid pro-prospects they have a pair of "stars in the making" from the ranks of the young in the trenches.  Everyone is aware of Tommie Harris, a dominant prospect that destroyed the opposition last season as a true freshman.  Harris may not have the great size potential but is a prospect the radar screen is already targeting in on.  Another that really impressed us was center Vince Carter, an undersized but tenacious pivot man that is tremendous blocking for either the pass or run.




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