With Jermaine Gresham being out for an undetermined time Oklahoma will be in major need of another playmaker to step up and take his place. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson stated on Thursday that Brody Eldridge would remain as the team’s center which leaves Trent Ratterree and James Hanna as the tight ends on the two deep.
Ratterree joined the Sooners as a walk-on while Hanna was a highly touted recruit and yet it was Ratterree who was listed behind Gresham on the depth chart. While all the kudos in the world should be given to Ratterree for working hard to make it as far as he has you have to think that at some point it’ll be Hanna that becomes the more productive of the two.
We should see both players on the field against BYU and more than likely there will be times whew we see them on the field at the same time because OU has a few multi tight end sets. It may be easier to dig up information on Jason Bourne than Trent Ratterree. After searching several internet sites he’s what we know. He’s a sophomore, is listed at 6-3/225, wears jersey #47 and is from Weatherford, Oklahoma. He has no stats at Oklahoma and no bio is found on his profile.
Meanwhile, Hanna came to Oklahoma as a four-star recruit. He was ranked as the nation’s 11th tight end by Rivals, 13th by ESPN, 20th by Scout and was the 32nd overall player in the state of Texas by Rivals. He’s currently listed at 6-4/243. That’s only giving up two inches and fifteen pounds to Gresham. I’m not in any way suggesting that Hanna is a Gresham replica and match Gresham’s athleticism but he’s a long way from being a slouch. His senior year of High School he averaged 29 yards per punt return. In Oklahoma’s spring conditioning tests he bench pressed 355 lbs (the highest among the tight ends), ran a 4.56 forty (equal to Gresham) and has a 37.5 inch vertical (tied Brian Jackson for 3rd highest on the team).
Being the second most athletic tight end on the roster doesn’t amount for anything if you can’t work your way onto the field. Hanna appeared in all but one of Oklahoma’s games last season as a reserve tight end and a special team’s player but there’s a reason that he’s behind Ratterree on the depth chart. Perhaps it’s a motivational ploy by the coaching staff or possibly Ratterree has legitimately beaten him out thus far. That doesn’t change the fact that Oklahoma needs someone to step up big to replace an injured star and James Hanna is the best candidate to do it.