2015 OT Countdown | Fifth Place | Conner Dyer

Image via @Dyer_Football

As previously discussed, this is the second of a six part series of evaluations involving Oklahoma’s primary offensive tackle recruiting targets in this 2015 class. It figures to be an important position of need for the Sooners and clearly one they have made a priority having already identified a number of players they are focusing on. In turn, we will do the same in an effort to give you a better idea the type of player we believe each to be and what the Sooners could be getting should a commitment come from one (or more) at some point later down the road.

No. 5 – Conner Dyer 6’4″ 278 lbs | Horn H.S. | Mesquite, TX

Coming in at No. 5 on the OT countdown is Conner Dyer.  Conner goes about 6’4″ 278, and is probably one of the best finishers you’re going to find.  As far as playing with an attitude goes, he is definitely the nastiest of the tackles in this group of six. When you talk about attitude, Dyer’s game just oozes with it.  Anyone who has read some of my previous articles knows that nasty and attitude are by far two of the most important traits I look for in someone’s game. Having said that, you might be wondering why Conner comes in at No. 5 when his game has those aspects I look for?

A few years ago, we were in on a guy named John Michael McGee.  And JMM, as he came to be known by Sooner faithful, ended up signing with OU.  When I watched his tape, the guy had supreme athleticism. To the point that he wasn’t over-matched by practically anyone else from an athletic standpoint. That’s not normally the case when you’re talking about offensive linemen.  JMM, like Dyer, played offensive tackle and with his athleticism, man you could see someone who could handle all comers from a pass rush standpoint.  While JMM was a superior athlete, he wasn’t near the finisher Conner is. As you many of you already know, JMM ended up leaving fall camp after only a few days so we can only wonder what might have been.

You might also be wondering why I’m comparing JMM, a guy who washed out, to Dyer who shows graduated toughness and no signs of running home to mama.  The thing is while JMM, who played tackle in high school, was recruited by all comers as an offensive guard since he was 6’4″.  So when I look at Conner, I see a guy who’s not quite the athlete that JMM was but also checking in right around that 6’4″ mark.  Keeping with that line of thought, when you’re splitting hairs talking about how you rank players in an elite group of offensive tackles I’m not sure that Conner is going to play as an offensive tackle at the college level.  While he could eventually prove more than capable, in today’s game more and more coaches are after the 6’6″ and 6’7″ guys for the tackle position.

To take it a step further, even if Dyer spends his college years at offensive tackle I doubt he could transition to the NFL as a tackle.  Currently in the NFL, the height of typical offensive linemen:

LT : 6’7 – 6’9″

LG: 6’3″ – 6’5″

C: 6’2″ – 6’4″

RG: 6’2″ – 6’4″

RT: 6’5″ – 6’7″

So unless Conner grows another inch or two, which isn’t impossible, at some point he’s going to be facing the reality that he could be an elite guard if he makes the switch or simply be classified as an undersized tackle.

Going further down the rabbit hole, Conner is the kind of guy who I think could be an elite left guard.  The guy plays harder than most of the offensive linemen I’ve seen on film, this year or otherwise.  It’s to the point that he plays so hard, at times he’s even a little out of control.  I saw him do some things that are extremely rare for an offensive lineman.  There’s a play in his Hudl highlights where he mashes a guy into the ground, rolls over the top of him, jumps up off the ground, and then pummels a linebacker.  Kid just doesn’t quit going.  That’s why you have to get this guy on your team.  He’s relentless in driving guys into the ground.  Having a guy like him with the athleticism to play tackle allows you not to be over-matched athletically when you come up against hyper-athletic defensive tackles. And with his power and toughness, it gives you a guy that could be lethal pulling and on double teams inside because he’s going to beat opponents to a pulp.  He’s the kind of guy that would have linebackers yelling uncle by the middle of the third quarter.

He’s a guy, to me, that if I’m Coach Bedenbaugh, I get him on campus and let the position work itself out.  You can’t have too many guys on campus who can play multiple positions.  Much like Bronson Irwin did for us in the Sugar Bowl for us this past year, Conner could be a guy who could also play guard or tackle.  If he showed an ability for it, he could add depth at center for you as well.  You never know when somebody’s going to get hurt and you’re going to need that versatility that Dyer could provide.

He’s definitely an offer in my eyes and he’s the kind of player you want on your team.  With Mesquite Horn producing 2014 OU signee Jonathan Alvarez this year and with the Sooners obviously in on Dyer as well, it’s a school you could look to establish a pipeline with for years to come.

No. 6 – Keaton Sutherland 6’6″ 280 lbs | Marcus H.S. | Flower Mound, TX

  • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

    edit title 🙂

    • Jordan Esco

      Whoops, my bad. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Doobie74OU

    So your saying “SIZE DOES MATTER” LOL! I agree about Dyer. When I listed him as my favorite out of this group that is all I was looking at is a guy that was in Beast Mode every game! He was just road grading people. Never even thought about the move inside because of his height. THANKS FOR THE ENLIGHTENMENT AS ALWAYS JY! I think after these evaluations JY deserves to have his pay doubled at least maybe even tripled!

    • JY

      Nah, it’s a good time. Thanks for the kind words though!

  • TheMind___Gap

    Sugar bowl trench warfare 4th quarter. You guys said you have it finished but just have not posted it yet . Please post it. Please

    • Perry Dickey

      These guys are awesome with their time and efforts. Wait for it… wait for it. Even if its in the doldrums of June it will be perfect!

    • JY

      It’s all done, just need to post it.

  • Ed Cotter

    I say get the kid on campus and then let’s figure out his position. Gabe Ikard was a TE when he came to OU and then played guard as well as being an out-of-this-world center. Bedenbaugh will coach him up. But we need to get that nastiness in here and keep it on our OL. Bring him in as a tackle and who knows he could become one heck of a guard. Big Lane Johnson switched positions a couple times and it worked out for him in the end.
    Love these write ups!

  • Jackson1006

    I think he is more like 6’2″ or 6’3″ at most. Not saying he won’t be great just he looked noticeably shorter in some of the ou jr day pics.

  • Sonny Schovanec

    Watching that film makes you appreciate 2014 signee Alvarez #71 even more. There are coaches who spit the bit on Alvarez and I have a feeling they will be sorry they overlooked him because he wasn’t 6’3″ or didnt pass the eye test.

    • JY

      Alvarez was one of my favorite recruits this year.

    • Indy_sooner

      I couldn’t understand that one either. The dude has what it takes to make it big (pun intended) at the next level.

  • Sooner Ray

    Great analysis JY, you said pretty much everything I was thinking about this kid. Before I saw film, I thought he was undersized for the position but after a few plays I realized he plays bigger on the field than he actually is. He has that nasty you talk about that will put fear in anyone who gets in front of him and, as you said, he’s one of those guys you can move around to fill in for injuries. Really hope we get this one.

    • JY

      Yeah, he’s a good one.

  • soonerjunky

    Savage came in during the Sugar Bowl and helped the O Line. We beat up Bama’s D Line, with that being said will he start next year? He is big and nasty, and has had plenty of time to learn the offense.

  • Steven White

    Great article! Love this site! Dyer is a beast and one we must get on this team. If you were writing an article on the best O line prospects I would put Dyer as #1 simply based on the fact that he could play all three positions you mentioned. He is nasty and versatile, but being this is an article on the OT position I think you are spot on. Again great article and great site.

  • #justwinOU

    Trent Williams 6’5″ 325lbs Pro-bowl OT

  • John Garner

    Thanks for for the eval. Great read. Hope this kid lands in Norman.

  • tforce

    Two points:
    1. There is the school of thought that CFB teams should exclusively recruit players with the potential to play OT. This is because players who can’t play OT can slide to the interior OL slots but not vice versa.
    2. Aren’t we really interested in wingspan, not height? Usually height = wingspan but that isn’t always the case. In fact, there could be the for OL who are shorter (lower center of gravity) with really long arms. This is all a prelude to the question of whether we actually know these players wingspan.

    • Sooner Ray

      This is just my opinion tforce so you or anyone here can disagree and it’s fine. I’m not concerned with wingspan on the O-line because if they’re having to reach out very far that tells me they’re getting beat and their footwork isn’t what it should be. I want span on the D-line to reach for runners or knock down passes or push off blocks. As far as height, I think it’s easier to put good lean weight on a longer frame where putting weight on a shorter frame can get too thick and possibly affect flexibility. Just my personal thoughts on the subject.

      • tforce
        • Sooner Ray

          Thanks for the link, interesting read and something I didn’t know, probably because I was a RB and DB and tried to stay as far away from the big guys as possible regardless of reach. I did notice the writer had a disclaimer saying it was only a tool for the NFL and didn’t apply to all athletes to determine success but would be useful I’m sure. I try to keep in mind that the players we’re reviewing here won’t see the NFL combine for at least 4 to 6 years as they still have another year of HS to play and their bodies will likely be a lot different by then.

          • tforce

            I was a G/F as I quit playing FB in middle school.I agree, NFL combine is a long way away for these guys.
            The link was provided to support the role of wingspan vs height as a trait necessary to excel as an OT.

          • Doobie74OU

            I was curious about the size comparison with Bama as well Sonner Ray. I was actually shocked with the results I found. I couldn’t find wingpspans on many guys but Alabama starting offensive lineman averaged 6′ 4 3/4″ & 306 3/4 lbs per guy. Sooners starting offensive line average was 6′ 4 1/2″ & 313 3/4 lbs. Pretty close really. I went a little further and looked at next years projected starters for OU and they will average 6′ 4 1/2″ & 316 lbs. If Thompson and Savage end up starting at Left Tackle and Guard we should be stout on that side running the ball and should protect the Blind side of a young QB pretty well!

        • Sonny Schovanec

          Another Reason I like Bobby Joe’s kid. Evans has exceptional arm length.

    • JY

      I don’t.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    Great stuff, guys. I agree that they should just work on getting him and then worry about his position.

  • CoachStauder

    Good stuff, but it seems he is blowing up offer wise. LSU, ND, etc… Impressive offer list. I believe they are all OT offers as well, but I’m not completely positive. He is listed at 6’5” at rivals, has he been to a rivals camp?

    • JY

      Not sure.