2009 OU Football Preview: O-Line

 

The gauntlet has been thrown down for Oklahoma’s offensive line. Who knows what is being said behind closed doors but among the general public and most media outlets the `09 Sooners are only going to be as good as the offensive line allows them to be. Fair or not, that is the challenge set forth for a unit that will feature four new starters. At first glance its logical to be concerned going into the season but taking a closer look at the guys up front should shed new light and confidence in the line.

Left Tackle

Starter – Trent Williams, Sr.: The lone returning starter from last season, Williams will be the veteran leader in `09. He’ll be moving from the right to the left tackle position to help protect Bradford’s blindside. Williams was a first team All Big 12 selection last season and recorded a total of 131 knockdowns. In the BCS Championship game he had a career high 18 knockdowns against the Gators.

 

Donald Stephenson, So.: Played in seven games last season as a reserve.

 

Jeff Vinson, Jr.: Rated as the #52 JUCO player in the nation last year by Rivals.

 

Left Guard

Starter - Brian Simmons, Sr.: Has played in 35 games over the last three seasons. Last year (as well as `07) he played in all 14 games as a reserve, for a total of 421 plays, in which he recorded 50 knockdowns.

 

Tavaris Jeffries, Jr.: Played last season at CoahomaCommunity College last season.

 

Center

Starter - Ben Habern, Fr.: Was given a medical redshirt last season, after seeing action in three games, due to an ankle injury. Against Baylor he had nine knockdowns in nine plays.

 

Brian Lepak, Jr.: Transfer from ColoradoState. Recorded no stats in 2008.

 

Right Guard

Starter - Stephen Good, So.: Played in seven games last season as a reserve. Against Nebraska he recorded his season high four knockdowns.

 

Tyler Evans, Fr.:  Was ranked as the #52 offensive guard in the nation by Rivals.

 

Right Tackle

Starter – Cory Brandon, Jr.: Played in nine games last season as a reserve and tallied 148 plays in which he recorded 16 knockdowns.

 

Jarvis Jones, So.: Redshirt season in 2008. Played in seven games as a reserve at LSU in 2007 as a true freshman.

This unit may not be as big and powerful as last season’s but they should be a lot quicker. As you can see the cupboard is far from being bare and there really is a lot of experience there. Its not like OU will be tossing out an All-Conference guy and four others who’ve never taken a snap in a major college football game. The biggest challenge for this unit will be for them to gel together and its something that they must do quickly. If they don’t the BYU game could be interesting and the Miami game down right scary.

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