OU football: Depth chart released, questions and answers
NORMAN — OU released its first depth chart Wednesday prior to Saturday’s season opener against Missouri State at 6 p.m. at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Here’s three questions answered by the depth chart and a few that remain:
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1. Freshman Anton Harrison will start at left tackle. With their line returning pretty much intact, this was the only real question on the line as returner Erik Swenson and the departed R.J. Proctor rotated at this spot a year ago. Harrison, a 6-foot-5, 334 pounder from Washington, D.C., came in as a highly-anticipated prospect but it’s rare for true freshmen to start on the offensive line. Another freshman on the line, Andrew Raym, is listed as the backup at LG.
2. DaShaun White has shifted to middle linebacker and Brian Asamoah, a redshirt sophomore, will start at the weakside spot. With Kenneth Murray departing, it was expected that White would move over to the middle. Caleb Kelly looked like the natural pick for the weakside spot before his injury but with Kelly out, Asamoah gets his chance after being primarily a special-teams player a year ago.
3. Marvin Mims will get a chance to contribute, starting with returning punts. The freshman from Frisco, Texas, set all kinds of Texas high school receiving records, and he’ll step into the punt returning duties that CeeDee Lamb handled a year ago. Tre Brown returns at kick returner.
1. With Ronnie Perkins out, who will start at defensive end? Perkins is expected to be suspended for the early part of the season. He’s the clear starter there but Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Stripling have been battling for that spot in his absence. They’re both listed as being second behind Perkins with freshman Reggie Grimes also being listed. Thomas and Stripling both figure to play a considerable amount.
2. How many freshmen defensive backs will be in the rotation? OU’s secondary depth was limited last year, especially at cornerback where Tre Brown, Parnell Motley and freshman Jaden Davis were the only players Roy Manning felt like he could rely on there. The depth chart released Wednesday lists three freshmen at backup behind Brown at one corner spot and Bryson Washington is listed as a co-backup to Pat Fields at free safety. Will all four play significant snaps? It’s likely they’ll have to with the circumstances of this season.
3. How much will the Sooners use the “Y” receiver spot? Marshall transfer Obi Obialo is listed as the starter at that position, ahead of Drake Stoops. Austin Stogner, Brayden Willis and Jeremiah Hall are all listed as potential starters at “H,” the tight end/h-back role in Lincoln Riley’s offense. It’s likely that multiples of those three players in various combinations are used simultaneously a significant amount this season, and the “Y” seems most likely to be the position off the field during those instances.
OU DEPTH CHART
Marcus Major OR Rhamondre Stevenson
Theo Wease OR Theo Howard OR Trejan Bridges
Austin Stogner, OR Brayden Willis OR Jeremiah Hall
Isaiah Thomas OR Marcus Stripling
Shane Whittier OR Jamal Morris
Joseph Wete OR Brynden Walker
Joshua Eaton OR D.J. Graham OR Kendall Dennis
Justin Broiles OR Bryson Washington
Jeremiah Criddell OR Justin Broiles