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Oklahoma Sooners Spring Football First Impressions | Tight End Mark Andrews

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Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The days when tight ends roamed the football field as a valuable part of Oklahoma's offense almost seem to be prehistoric. Most recently James Hanna was a contributor and Jermaine Gresham was a game changer. You have to go back to 2011 to find Hanna contributing and it was 2008 when Gresham was wrecking Big 12 defenses. Since that time there's been a void at what many deem to be one of the most crucial positions in the offense. That could be about to change though.

"Yeah he’s been consistent all season on making plays. He’s a hard matchup. He’s bigger than you want him to be for DBs; he’s quicker and more elusive than you want him to be with linebackers on him. He’s got great hands-great route runner. He can come in and block you. He does a lot of really good things. He’s a really good player for us." -Bob Stoops on tight end Mark Andrews

I know, I know. We've said multiple times that the tight end position was coming back to OU and, with our hopes up, experienced the regret and remorse through the season as the position had been used as nothing more than a glorified blocker. If that happens with Mark Andrews then there really is no hope at all of ever seeing this position flourish again at Oklahoma.

A four-star recruit from Scottsdale, Arizona, Andrews very much looks the part of being the real deal. At 6-6/247 he has the body type for a tight end who can be successful on the major collegiate level and on the field last Saturday he certainly showed that athleticism isn't something that he's lacking either.

While it certainly isn't fair to the redshirt freshman to compare him to the likes of NFL 1st-rounder Jermaine Gresham, there's no questioning the potential that is there. Bob Stoops even commented on the match-up problems a guy like Andrews poses to opposing defenses. He only caught two passes on Saturday but he averaged 28 yards per completion and was second on the team in receiving yards.

The only thing that could have made his day more complete on Saturday would have been if he had caught the first pass that was thrown his way. Falling back at the front pylon, the the north end zone/east side, Andrews was gifted with a pass right to the bread basket. It's a play that he's got to make and a catch that he needs to complete if he's going to be a difference maker in this offense. Despite that one mistake, it's impossible to walk away from Saturday's spring game without the belief that he'll have opportunity after opportunity to make those type of plays once the fall rolls around.