OU football: Mario Williams, Billy Bowman can be impact freshmen for Sooners in 2021
NORMAN — Due to injury and suspension, the OU wide receiver corps took on a much different look than expected in 2020.
Jadon Haselwood was lost for much of the season due to a preseason injury and even after his return, he struggled to get back to 100%. Trejan Bridges’ suspension that was expected to last five games dragged out before finally ending for the Big 12 Championship Game. Charleston Rambo, who looked like the best candidate to be the Sooners’ top receiver, never acclimated to that role.
All of that combined to leave plenty of opportunities for others to help OU in 2020 and find a place beyond.
The Oklahoman’s series of position looks at the Sooners continues with a look at OU’s wide receivers in 2021:
Season rewind: After a pair of touchdown catches in the opener, Rambo faded into oblivion with just 19 catches for 187 yards and no touchdowns until the bowl game. Freshman Marvin Mims emerged instead as the Sooners’ big-play receiver, finishing with a team-high 610 yards and nine touchdowns on 37 catches. As the season went on, Theo Wease became a bigger and bigger part of the Sooners’ passing game. He tied Mims for the team-high in catches with 37 for 530 yards and four touchdowns. The biggest surprise of the group was Drake Stoops, though. The walk-on and son of longtime OU coach Bob Stoops had 15 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner against Texas.
Who’s out: Charleston Rambo
Who’s in: *-Billy Bowman, Jalil Farooq, Cody Jackson, Mario Williams, (*-Bowman is an athlete who could play either receiver or defensive back for the Sooners)
The take: The 2021 receiver group might be the deepest the Sooners have ever had, and that’s saying plenty. While Rambo transferred to Miami, they’ll still have a strong group of returners plus an incoming group that includes five-star prospect Mario Williams and four-stars Billy Bowman, Jalil Farooq and Cody Jackson. Williams figures to be the most likely to make an immediate impact at receiver, though Bowman figures to have an impact wherever he plays — receiver, running back or defensive back — as well as on special teams.
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Projected depth chart
Trejan Bridges, So, 6-1, 180
Marvin Mims, Fr., 5-11, 177
Theo Wease, So, 6-3, 192
Jadon Haselwood, So., 6-2, 200
Theo Howard, RSr., 6-0, 182
Trevon West, Fr., 6-0, 175
Drake Stoops, RSo., 5-9, 190
Billy Bowman, Fr., 5-10, 175
Mario Williams, Fr., 5-10, 165