The Oklahoma Sooners’ annual release of the first team depth chart always reminds me of a scene from an old Steve Martin movie called “The Jerk.”
Indeed, the new depth chart is here! It may not be worth the PDF it’s printed on, but damn it, it’s something to latch on to, especially in a year when the possibility of even having a season has been in doubt.
#Sooners release depth chart in advance of the season opener.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 9, 2020
➡️ https://t.co/yxVPcQVEk0 pic.twitter.com/7vtgfFk9rS
A few quick takeaways:
*Note that this includes three players who are currently serving NCAA-mandated suspensions, so sprinkle in major salt grains everywhere.
*The first thing that jumps off the page: Anton Harrison is starting at left tackle.
The buzz on Harrison coming out of preseason camp has been exceedingly positive, but a freshman winning that job over more experienced contenders such as Erik Swenson and Stacey Wilkins is downright stunning.
*Lincoln Riley may be playing games with the receiver designations. The H receiver generally goes to a classic slot player, for example, but here it is being applied to the tight end/H-back group. The Sooners will almost certainly use the three players listed there – Austin Stogner, Brayden Willis and Jeremiah Hall – in different niches.
Meanwhile, Marshall transfer Obi Obialo made enough of an impression to reach the top line at Y receiver. He’s listed ahead of Drake Stoops, who is six inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than Obialo. Doubtful they will play the same role in the offense.
*Get ready to see plenty of freshman Marvin Mims. In addition to being listed as the second-team Z receiver behind Charleston Rambo, Mims will return kicks and field punts this season.
*The defensive side of the ball hints includes a few revelations. First, redshirt freshman Kori Roberson falls under the nose guard heading, rather than defensive tackle. On the other hand, JUCO transfer Josh Ellison is playing behind LaRon Stokes at DT. That is essentially the opposite of many initial projections about where the two would land.
Moving ahead of Jordan Kelley at NG indicates that Roberson showed out in preseason camp.
*Sophomore David Ugwoegbu must need work still at inside linebacker. We’ll see if the pairing of DaShaun White at MIKE and Brian Asamoah at WILL lasts for the season or if one ends up holding a place for the former outside backer.
*Third-year sophomore Nik Bonitto gets the nod ahead of Jon-Michael Terry at RUSH LB. That makes if defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is hoping to juice up OU’s pass rush.
Speaking of the RUSH spot, note that Brynden Walker is listed there, not at ILB.
*Tre Norwood on the second line at cornerback comes as a mild surprise, although Grinch has suggested he may play utility man in the secondary. Don’t be surprised if Norwood ends up seeing as many snaps as Jaden Davis if the redshirt senior sticks at CB for the entire season.
*Both incumbents held onto their positions at safety. That’s not surprising, but it doesn’t mean they won’t feel some heat from Woodi Washington and Bryson Washington as the season wears on.