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2014 Oklahoma Sooners Football Preview | Tight Ends

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Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

With visions of Jermaine Gresham still dancing through our heads, the cold reality is that 2008 was six years ago and that was the last time that the Sooners had a legitimate threat at the tight end position. With Oklahoma needing alternate threats to take the field with Sterling Shepard in 2014, it just makes sense that this should be the year that the tight end returns to the offense.

2014 Oklahoma Tight Ends

#

Name

Pos

HT

WT

YR

Home

10

Bell, Blake

TE

6-6

259

RSr.

Wichita, Kan. (Bishop Carroll HS)

80

Ijalana, Isaac

TE

6-4

247

So.

Mount Holly, N.J. (Pierce College)

89

Knight, Connor

TE

6-4

244

RSo.

San Antonio, Texas (Reagan HS)

88

McNamara, Taylor

TE

6-5

245

RSo.

San Diego, Calif. (Westview HS)

45

Meier, Carson

TE

6-6

226

Fr.

Tulsa, Okla. (Union HS)

The big news surrounding Oklahoma's tight ends this off-season has been the transition of senior Blake Bell from quarterback to tight end. While he has great size, and has shown solid hands during summer camp, the most likely scenario for Bell is that he is overshadowed by sophomore Taylor McNamara early on as he gets acclimated to playing the game from that position. Mentally Bell may have an advantage over the rest of the tight ends on the roster because he literally knows what the quarterback is thinking in certain situations. What we have to be careful of though is the expectation that this will automatically translate to success on the field.

McNamara may be Oklahoma's best bet to see improvement from the tight end in 2014. He's a  redshirt sophomore, which means that he's been in the system for three years, and was targeted for a couple of scores in the Red/White game to wrap up spring ball. If the Sooners can get both guys active in the offense then they can really create some headaches for opposing defenses.

A guy to keep an eye on here is JUCO transfer Issac Ijalana who came in for the spring and has been effective enough to not only get on the field during the spring game but to also get snaps in Oklahoma's scrimmages this summer. He may not get the same amount of time as Bell and McNamara but I wouldn't be shocked at all to see him on the field this fall.