With OU's spring football practices drawing to a close, we have a better idea of how the major position battles are shaping up. How about a stab at the depth chart?
As always, this reflects how I think the lineups would look if the Sooners played tomorrow (all things being equal). It only includes players who are currently on campus.
Feel free to hit me up in the comments to let me know what I botched.
*Here’s an example of what I expect to be a base formation for the offense:
Mead and Brown set up as the outside receivers, with Andrews lining up as a split tight end. Flowers lines up as a wing.
*All of these are written in pencil, but none more so than the wide receiver spots. Kentucky graduate transfer Jeff Badet isn’t coming to Norman to sit the bench. Freshman Cedarian Lamb will vie for early playing time, too.
With as many as seven or eight potential contributors in their position groups, receivers coaches Dennis Simmons and Cale Gundy could come up with some funky personnel groupings and formations to force opposing defenses into constant adjustments.
*OK, so Rodney Anderson wouldn’t actually play tomorrow if OU had a game. Still, you get the point: I think he’s the first running back on the field come UTEP time.
*I’m still rolling with the assumption that Kyler Murray’s exploits on the baseball field will keep him from nabbing the backup quarterback job.
*Definitely curious to see how the safety positions shake out. I get the impression that veteran nickelback Will Johnson moved to safety with the intention of Mike Stoops finding a starting role for him.
Will Sunderland still shows up out of position more often than you’d like to see. Maybe he plays as a safety in the nickel package, which would mean fewer run-pass reads.
If Sunderland ends up starting, I imagine he slides in at free safety, and Parker shifts to strong.
*Terminology: I’m calling the 5-technique on the weak side of the offensive formation the JACK. The MIKE lines up as an inside linebacker to the strong side of the formation, while the WILL is the ILB on the weak side. The SAM plays OLB to the strong side.
*I suspect the original vision was for Kenneth Murray to learn the SAM behind Caleb Kelly. Instead, look for Murray to push for playing time at WILL ILB, where Emmanuel Beal has struggled standing his ground against the run.
*The second team played five defensive backs exclusively in the spring game, so I’d bet the plan is to go straight nickel if Kelly were to become unavailable at some point.