In the world of college football, trends come and go. For those of us unfortunate enough to witness such trends unfold, we are left with the tales of folklore. Taking notice, programs across the nation adapt and evolve accordingly. One such team to morph philosophies on both sides of the ball was none other than our beloved Oklahoma Sooners. With National Signing Day quickly approaching, Bob Stoops and Co. will be adding plenty of talent in order to help the cause.
Over the summer, the coaching staff decided to add a wrinkle to the offense by throwing in the zone read and option in order to utilize their dual threat quarterbacks more efficiently. However, read plays require a few cogs to make them work at an optimal level. One of those pieces is a set of wide receivers who present a challenge vertically while possessing the ability to get off the line of scrimmage without being jammed. This occupies the safeties and keeps defenses from stacking the box allowing a guy like Trevor Knight to get outside of the tackles. How has the Sooners' coaching staff made a concerted effort to address this problem?
Simply put, this is a program seeking out taller, more physical receivers as evidenced by the three 2014 receiver commits in Dallis Todd (6-4), Jeffrey Mead (6-5) , and Mark Andrews (6-6). Not only are these guys capable of stretching the field with speed but they are also able to go up over smaller defensive backs. In the past, this is not something that Oklahoma has had or been able to take advantage of regularly. With that said, it makes you wonder if the success of Justin Brown during the 2012 season paved the way for this future that is upon us.
This does not mean the smaller players like Sterling Shepard are now irrelevant as there are two sides to any equation. With the ability to run the ball, linebackers find themselves sliding up while leaving gaping holes open over the middle. Oklahoma will continue to go after slot receivers who can make the most of crossing patterns and move in space.
We still have yet to see how these taller receivers pan out. But, one thing is for sure...the changes Bob Stoops made at the University of Oklahoma have paid dividends on the field as well as in recruiting. Let's hope those changes are here for the long haul as the Sooners continue in pursuit of number eight.