Sept 8, 2012; Norman OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) is tackled mid air by Florida A&M Rattlers linebacker Brandon Hepburn (52) and cornerback Patrick Aiken (5) during the second quarter at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE
To borrow a popular term from one Mr. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma's 'East Handkerchief State' portion of their schedule has come and gone. It wasn't quite as pretty as we all might have liked, but never the less the Sooners are 2-0 as they head into the first of two bye weeks and prepping for what will easily be their most difficult game to date. Given that the level of competition will step up considerably, the opportunities for those freshman who have yet to play will likely indicate a redshirt in their near future.
Through the first two games, Oklahoma has played the following true freshman: Sterling Shepard, Trey Metoyer, Durron Neal, Taylor McNamara, Ty Darlington, Charles Tapper, Michael Onuoha, Gary Simon, and Eric Striker.
Of those, Metoyer, Shepard, and McNamara are the only ones who have seen anything close to what one would call significant playing time. Neal has played, but sparingly at best. Same for (the most part) Tapper and Onuoha. Unless I'm mistaken, Striker's time has been exclusively on special teams. While both Darlington and Simon were late substitutions against FAMU. I'm not going to get into whether or not it was worth playing some of these guys, that's not what this post is really about, but it's safe of you to assume I wouldn't have a glowing review of the decision to do so for several of them.
So, we know who has played which obviously leaves those who are likely to receive a redshirt. Here is a quick rundown.
RB Daniel Brooks -No surprise here. He came in needing major knee surgery, a redshirt was planned all along.
QB Trevor Knight -No injury involved, but given the depth chart a redshirt was just as assured for Knight as it was for Brooks.
WR Derrick Woods -This one needed to happen and the OU receiver situation improving considerably pretty much guaranteed it would. Many still feel Woods' ceiling may be higher as a safety.
TE Sam Grant -Another one that needed to happen and Geneo Grissom's move all but sealed the deal for Grant. There are already some speculating his future move to the offensive line.
OG Kyle Marrs -The chances of Marrs playing as a true freshman were zero.
RB Alex Ross -Not going to lie, pleasantly surprised by this one. The coaches were raving about him this summer and this had Brandon Williams -- complete waste of a year -- written all over it. So far, the coaches have resisted the urge to play him and barring some kind of rash of injuries to OU's other running backs I expect/hope that to continue. Additionally, the success of Damien Williams makes this decision that much easier.
RB David Smith -The coaches were impressed with him this summer, but if Alex Ross isn't going to play Smith is a no-brainer.
CB Zack Sanchez -He revealed his own redshirt status on Twitter last week and it makes sense that the coaches would give him the year. Has a bright future as a potential shutdown corner, but needed a year in the weight room.
DT Jordan Wade -Initially a member of the 2011 class, Wade's enrollment was delayed due to some academic issues. Now a member of 2012, he will spend the year redshirting but will definitely be needed next season when OU loses three seniors at the defensive tackle spot.