Oklahoma's football team hits the field today for the first spring practice of 2010 and coming off a disappointing 2009 campaign there are some questions that need to be answered. Due to injury some questions may need to be put off until the summer but after 14 spring practice dates some things should at least become a little more clear. Here are five questions that will hopefully be answered between today and April 17.
5. Who will replaceand Dominique Franks on the corners? Oklahoma lost one of the most talented cornerback duos in the Big 12 and now they have to quickly replace them. Sophomore Demontre Hurst and senior Jonathan Nelson are the front runners but redshirt freshman Gabe Lynn and junior Jamell Fleming aren't out of the mix.
4. Which receiver steps up to complement Ryan Broyles? Call me naive but I believe the talent was on campus last year but it was the experience that was lacking. That's why we saw the massive improvement from Dejuan Miller and Jaz Reynolds. They have to at least be penciled in as starters at this point and could get a push from Cameron Kenney and Brandon Caleb but posses the physical tools to separate themselves into a class of their own. Without a solid second and third option opposing defenses will continue to double Broyles.
3. Will Oklahoma's 2010 passing attack feature a tight end? Tight end Gabe Ikard has been moved to center and, at least for now, tight end Eric Mensik is staying on the offensive line (more on this later) which leaves Trent Ratterree and James Hannah competing for the starting job. Ratterree, a former walk-on, has the clear advantage over Hannah after earning his way into the starting lineup and remaining there last season. Neither could have been considered a weapon though as Ratterree only caught 11 passes and Hannah 6.
2. How much progress will Landry Jones make? Jones wont be preparing to back up a Heisman winner this spring, he'll be preparing to lead the team to a run at the Big 12 championship in 2010. That's a huge difference in approach to the season. Jones will get the majority of the reps this spring and will no doubt have a tighter grasp on the offense when spring drills are over.
1. Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line? The biggest question mark going into last season was the biggest weakness on the team, costing Sam Bradford his year and contributing to the demise of Oklahoma's rushing attack. The Sooners will be without Ben Habern andbecause of injury but they get back Donald Stephenson who was suspended for last season. He and Cory Brandon make up the anchor for OU's o-line at the left and right tackle spots. Tight ends Eric Mensik and Gabe Ikard will work out with the line because of depth problems. Mensik will work out at tackle and Ikard is listed as the team's starting center for the spring, backed up by Brian Lepak.The key battle along the line will be at the guard position where Mensik, Stephen Good, Tyler Evans and Tavaris Jeffries will battle out for two spots.
Oklahoma also has two incoming 2010 freshmen that have enrolled early and will be competing on the line. Austin Woods will be competing at center and Bronson Irwin at guard.
This is what I'm looking for this spring. How about you?