The future at QB is by all accounts the most important storyline moving forward for the Sooners as they approach Spring Practices. The offensive line however is a close second. It will be quite a task to replace the likes of Daryl Williams, Tyrus Thompson, Adam Shead, Dionte Savage, and Tyler Evans. Bill Bedenbaugh will have his work cut out for him but has plenty of willing candidates to take over for next season.
What to Watch for During Spring Practices
The talented JUCO transfer possesses the size 6-5/305 and the ability to fill in the space vacated by Shead and Savage. Danley was able to graduate early and is already on campus. It would be a shock for him not to step up and win the the left guard position out right. His ability to grasp the offense and step in will go a long ways to determining the success of the 2016 offensive line.
2. Who will start at Left Tackle?
It's time for a player such as Josiah St. John to fulfill his potential at left tackle. Should he be able to solidify his stranglehold on the position, the Sooners would feel much better about the offensive line moving forward into 2016. If St. John should falter, the Sooners would most likely turn to a player that has yet to play a snap for the Sooners. That player is Kenyon Frison. Frison has been described by many as having talent equal to that of a player like former Sooner great Jamaal Brown. This spring could easily be a make or break situation for St. John as by all accounts Frison is the future at the position.
3. Who will start at Right Tackle?
This position will almost assuredly be locked down by an underclassmen. The Sooners will have several options that would present themselves for the right tackle position.
Here are the realistic options to how this battle will shake out.
1- St. John wins the left tackle position which would allow the Sooners to move Frison to right tackle.
2- Orlando Brown has a great spring and solidifies his position at right tackle. Brown his huge 6-8/340 but probably doesn't quite possess the athleticism to man the left tackle position. Brown, however, would be more than capable of excelling at right tackle in time.
Did I mention that the Sooners have some really good talent (albeit young) at the tackle position? Regardless of what happens during the spring, the Sooners have amassed great talent (still yet to be seen on field) during Bedenbaugh's time in Norman. Does anyone want to go back to the days of Patton/Kittle?
4. Other OL that should make a big push with a great spring.
Don't let his recruiting ranking fool you (2 stars) as he has all the ability in the world. It wouldn't surprise me for him to have a breakout spring and lock down the backup center position. I think in time Alvarez is a Sunday type player.
Recruited to play center, Dalton could find his biggest impact at offensive guard. While he still needs to add weight, he is an incredibly smart player who could make a big push during the spring.
5. Players who needs to have a great Spring.
It remains to be seen if he gets beaten out by Frison. He needs a huge spring and if he progresses like he can, the Sooners could move into the fall feeling much more comfortable about the offensive line.
While by all accounts Daimler has worked hard, it's clear that he needs to have a big spring practice or he risks falling down to a place on the depth chart that is nearly impossible to recover from. This is truly a make or break spring for him.
Projected Post Spring Practice OL Depth Chart
LT- St. John/ Frison
LG- Danley/ Alvarez or Dalton
C- Darlington/ Alvarez
RG- Kasitati/ Dalton or Alvarez
RT- Brown/ Frison