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2015 Oklahoma Sooners Football Preview | Will A Tight End Make The Difference In 2015?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners have handicapped themselves offensively by not actively using the tight end as a part of their offensive game plan. Rather than have a guy that can hit the seam, accelerate past a linebacker, or create a mismatch with a safety, OU turned the position into nothing more than adding an extra blocker. A change could be coming though, and honestly that change can't come soon enough.

2015 Oklahoma Tight Ends

#

Name

POS

HT

WT

YR

Hometown

81

Andrews, Mark

TE

6-5

245

RFr.

Scottsdale, Ariz. (Desert Mountain HS)

89

Knight, Connor

TE

6-4

241

RJr.

San Antonio, Texas (Reagan HS)

45

Meier, Carson

TE

6-5

234

RFr.

Tulsa, Okla. (Union HS)

The Promise

The talent pool at the position isn't extremely deep but that doesn't mean that it can't be effective. Not a single tight end on Oklahoma's roster has caught a pass in a collegiate football game but fans can't help but get excited about the guys on the roster. Mark Andrews is extremely athletic and showed a lot of promise in the spring. He's a former consensus 4-star recruit and has the body size to excel in the position and his hands are above average but not great. Carson Meier was a 4-star recruit by ESPN and 3-star by Scout, Rivals, and 247sports. These two are the top prospects for the position but that isn't intended to downplay any impact Connor Knight may have. The promise for the tight end position is clearly found in the young guys.

The Drawback

Because the position is so young experience is lacking. Then again we're talking about a position that hasn't really been used properly since James Hanna graduated following the 2011 season. Still though, younger guys always have some sort of growing pains to go through and the quicker they adjust the quicker they are capable of gaining the type of experience that allows them to be a significant factor in the game plan rather than guys that are learning on the job.

The Guy No One Is Talking About

Sophomore Dimitri Flowers is officially listed as a fullback on Oklahoma's roster but consider two factors here, 1) He played a FB/TE combo position in high school, 2) he has nine receptions at Oklahoma (10.2 yards per reception) and zero carries. At 6-2/228 he's a bit smaller than the tight ends but what he lacks in size he more than makes up in speed. He'll still be faster than most linebackers and bigger than most defensive backs.

In Flowers offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley has an asset that he can use in multiple formations. He should remind Oklahoma fans of Josh Norman who could line up at fullback, tailback, tight end, or as a receiver. There's not really a set position group for Flowers to get assigned to because of his versatility.

The Difference

Oklahoma needs bodies to throw the football to! As crazy as it may sound, the success of the spread attack will hinge on two factors. First, the ability to run the ball. Second, the ability to stretch the field and catch the ball. I think it's safe to say that they've got the first one covered but even with a retooled receiver corps, adding the tight end back into the equation as a vertical threat should key the success in the second factor. The Sooners have the athletes and perhaps a new offensive mindset will allow for them to use them.