We've already discussed the opportunities available to young buck Brandon Williams this spring. Here are five other Sooners to keep an eye on as Oklahoma opens spring camp this week:
1. Aaron Colvin
With Jamell Fleming's future in Norman clearly in doubt, secondary coach Willie Martinez will be throwing plenty of personnel combinations up against the wall to see what sticks.
OU's philosophy in the secondary seems to lean towards getting the four or five best defensive backs on the field, rather than getting too hung up on specific positions. If the pre-spring depth chart holds any water, that group currently comprises Demontre Hurst, Gabe Lynn, Javon Harris and Colvin, with Tony Jefferson playing a hybrid safety-linebacker.
At this point, it looks as though the stalking horse is to play Colvin as a safety, which makes sense. He has the spring and fall camps to learn the position. If Lynn doesn't work out at cornerback, Colvin could always move back there, where he saw plenty of action last season.
2. Blake Bell
In the race to be Landry Jones' understudy, sophomore Drew Allen has the edge in experience. Talk to the scouts, though, and they'll tell you that Bell, a redshirt freshman out of Kansas, has the superior skill set of the two underclassmen.
After a year on the sidelines, does Bell have a strong enough command of the offense to be 'Stache's No. 2? We'll know more by April. My guess is that even if Allen heads into the summer as the second-string signal caller, OU coach Bob Stoops would be more likely to call on Bell in the fall if Jones misses any significant time.
3. Bronson Irwin
You could blame any number of factors for OU's lackluster running game of late, but the interior of the Sooner offensive line has to be somewhere near the top of the list. For whatever reason, guards Gabe Ikard, Tyler Evans and Stephen Good just haven't put it all together.
Irwin, a mountainous sophomore out of Mustang, Okla., has a chance to shake that rotation up. As a four-star recruit coming out of high school, Irwin saw limited reps as a true freshman last year. With a full year in the program, maybe the big fella can step up and win a spot that is clearly there for the taking.
4. Justin McCay
OK, how about another member of OU's 2010 recruiting class?
In a star-studded group of receivers, McCay has kind of fallen out of Sooner Nation's view. The raw Kansan needed a redshirt year in 2010 to get up to speed, so we'll finally get a chance this spring to see if McCay is ready for prime time.
At 6-2, 209 lbs., McCay has size and speed you won't find in OU's other receiving targets. The question is whether he now possesses the polish to make it on the field in 2011.
5. Stacy McGee
After transitioning to defensive tackle, McGee provided a pleasant surprise for the Sooners in 2010. McGee's experience at defensive end could turn out to be a boon this year, as OU is rumored to be implementing more 3-4 base looks on defense. With his size, McGee seems like the kind of player who could flex out wide in those cases.