Brody Eldridge started at center for Oklahoma when they played BYU to open the season. In that game he recorded more knockdown blocks than any other OU lineman while delivering a performance that resulted in Oklahoma coaches calling him a star. Saturday against the Longhorns Eldridge once again returned to the offensive line by filling in for injured left guard Brian Simmons. Against the Longhorns the coaches said that he didn't miss a single assignment. Basically Oklahoma's two best performances on the offensive line have come from a converted fullback/tight end.
In between the season opener and last week's game against Texas Brody Eldridge started four games at tight end. As Oklahoma's starting tight end he's caught two passes for 19 yards. That's the same number of catches as Jermie Calhoun and James Hanna. I don't know, where do you think he's more useful?
Oklahoma's offensive line has been pathetic this season. They've given up seven quarterback sacks; they can't create holes for running backs to go up the middle. Inside the 10 yardline they get overpowered and instead of tough and physical they would probably be better described as finesse. Brody Eldridge seems to be able to bring the attitude and deliver the type of performance that's been missing from Oklahoma's offensive linemen. So why not just keep him there? Especially if he's only going to catch two passes!
Yes, I do understand that there is more to playing the tight end position than just catching the ball. As with all offensive positions blocking is essential. DeMarco Murray even commented about how much difference it makes having Eldridge out on the edge when he's running but in a spread attack like Oklahoma is prone to run you literally could run anyone out there and they could give the type of production that that Oklahoma's tight ends have. The same can't be said of Eldridge's contributions to the offensive line. If someone else could do it better then they would be by now.