There are 83 days remaining in our Countdown to Kickoff, and as the offseason winds down, we’ll be taking a closer look at the many storylines surrounding the 2018 Oklahoma Sooners. One of those storylines to keep an eye on revolves around the return of wide receiver Nick Basquine, who is attempting to make his way back on the field after being sidelined all of last season with an injury.
Nick Basquine began his career as a walk-on, and like all walk-ons, he has had to scratch and claw for each of his opportunities. In 2016, Basquine received his first chance to show his coaches, teammates, and Sooner fans everywhere what he could do when his number was called. That season, Basquine hauled in 20 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but the highlight of his debut campaign happened in November, when Bob Stoops awarded Nick with a scholarship.
Basquine’s former offensive coordinator and now head coach Lincoln Riley knows what it’s like to be a walk-on, so the moment Basquine was awarded his scholarship resonates with the entire team, especially from the top down.
For his performance in the classroom, Basquine was named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 First Team, backing up his family’s emphasis on education. On the field, the Norman North product was in line to be a key contributor for the 2017 team, but after going down with a left Achilles injury in August, the Sooners had to find production elsewhere. To make matters worse, Basquine sustained an injury to his right Achilles in February, further prolonging his comeback.
Now a redshirt senior, Basquine is on schedule to return to the fold and compete for reps in the high-powered Oklahoma offense. Nobody knows what it’s like to compete better than Nick Basquine, so his experience should bode well for his opportunities, barring any physical setbacks. Look out for No. 83 to be a leader this season, and perhaps even make a highlight play or two along the way.
Now lets’ cover the days we’ve missed since our last countdown post:
84 days! - The horrible non-interception call in the 1984 Red River Shootout
OU-Texas is one of the most storied and bitter rivalries in college football, and the 1984 edition was another epic classic that Sooner fans who witnessed it still shudder to think about to this day. It was an obvious interception off the tipped pass by Oklahoma safety Keith Stanberry, but unfortunately the replay and review system wasn’t as reliable in ‘84 as it is today (and it’s still not that great). The Longhorns would kick a field goal shortly afterwards, and the rain-drenched game would go into the books as a 15-15 tie. Ridiculous.
85 days! - Ryan Broyles
My personal favorite Sooner to watch when I was growing into my Oklahoma fandom was receiver Ryan Broyles. No. 85 had a knack for getting the job done, and he did it with a dazzling balance of flare and consistency. The Norman High School product donned the crimson & cream from 2008 to 2011, racking up an astounding 4,586 yards and 45 TDs on 349 receptions, which at the time was the FBS record for career receptions (today Broyles’ 349 catches ranks third all-time).
86 days! - James Winchester
In 2010, long snapper James Winchester had himself a hell of a season. On the year, No. 86 recovered three fumbles on punt plays, including this one to clinch the 28-20 win over Texas. Today, you can find Winchester in the NFL, suiting up for the Kansas City Chiefs.
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