Spring Game Notes

Finally had a chance to watch the spring game. Here are some thoughts…

– Overall I see added depth at just about every position on the field. Obviously the Sooners are going to need some guys to step at LB but everywhere else the Sooners seem to have more quality depth than they did last season.

– Spring games are always tough to read since things are pretty basic so I tried to focus in a little more on individual play.

– When the offensive line is clicking, they can move people off the ball. That interior line looks like it has a higher ceiling than the one the Sooners had on the field last year.

– The edges of the OL look good but I think if Daimler is going to be the RT he’s still got some work to do but that shouldn’t surprise anyone as he’s really just starting to get those coveted reps. I do think they may have to stick with the line-up where Samia at RT and Powers is at RG but we’ll see how things progress in the fall.

– A guy to watch out for is Dwayne Orso. I was really impressed by how well he moves both in his kick slide staying in front of an edge rusher and moving people in the run game. He’s a big man that runs about as well as you expect an offensive lineman to run. Whether he pushes for a spot on the two deep this fall will depend on how hard he works in the offseason but if he isn’t on the depth chart in 2016 I’d expect to see him in there in 2017. Very high ceiling and picking things up faster than I expected.

– Cody Ford flashed to me as well. There’s a particular play I recall on a 3rd down where Overton was shaded and slanted and Ford was able to stone him in space…a difficult thing to do against someone as quick and active as Overton.

– Sooners already know what to expect from Mayfield but seeing Austin Kendall not only make some nice throws but show a lot of athleticism on the move was a nice surprise. I think he will be a capable back up. I also think that once Mayfield leaves Murray is going to have a fight on his hand trying to win the spot over Kendall. I would’ve never guessed that prior to the spring game. Quarterback  is such a critical position and I think the Sooners are going to have a nice foundation there for the next few years.

– Didn’t have a ton of thoughts on the wide receivers. Obviously Westbrook showed he’s been there before…I think I saw a play where he actually outrun a cover 3! Mark Andrews continues to look more and more comfortable as well. I recall one play where the LB dropped a little too deep and he was able to immediately get to the space in the zone for a completion.

– AD Miller and Dahu Green look like they’re going to get there but just need to take that next step. I think Mead looks the part but I don’t get that sense that he’s a dog and is going to go out there and impose his will on the defensive back. One of those big guys has to start to assert themselves. Whichever one starts to flash it…that’ll be my guy and if Mead sits even with Green and Miller by fall camp…I’d move the younger guys up.

– Mixon looks more explosive in and out of his breaks. I think we are probably going to see him look more like the Mixon from high school this upcoming season. He’s a bit twitchier and a bit more confident. No surprise here but the Sooners are going to have a very nice backfield. If that OL continues to develop and get movement, the run game should take a step forward this season.

– The defensive line has a lot of guys with potential. The question is how much of that potential OU can squeeze out of them by the start of the season.

– A guy like Overton is just so active. He’s got the quick hands we always saw in high school and he’s a high motor kid. He’s going to push Romar. Garnett was lined up at NG…he’s got some work to do. I think the Sooners should be better in general at that spot with Romar, Wade and Overton being a year older.

– Gallimore is obviously an intriguing prospect at DE/DT. He gives you more a prototypical 3 man front body type at that position and he shows some burst off the LOS. But as many have noted, he’s still learning so again, it’ll be about how quickly he’s able to get where he needs to be by fall camp. Charles Walker is a known and valuable commodity but the idea of having a line consisting of Walker, Overton and Gallimore just feels very athletic and hefty. But again, it’s going to take some work and reps for Gallimore to crack that depth chart.

– I think Austin Roberts looked pretty good at times. He’s used to getting up field lined up outside the tackle so you can see him transitioning and learning how to play more technique. But those long arms and his ability to keep his feet moving and get full extension make him a difficult guy to really control or sit down on.

– I suspect the Sooners are going to be fine with Tay and Jordan Evans. Depth will be the question but that’s been a question for a while. Bolton has a great first step down hill and can get where he wants in a hurry but right now he’s inconsistent in terms of being where he’s supposed to be. You like his athleticism but he has to take that next step of being assignment sound in order to be relied upon.

– The void Striker and Bond left is pretty big. Those guys had such a burst off the edge that isn’t quite there yet. I did like some things Obo did. I especially like the way he stays active and keeps his hands moving. He also has the hips to go outside and then come back inside and has the length to keep hands off him even he’s stoned on his initial move. That was something Striker had trouble doing. I think Obo just needs to continue to get reps and he’ll be a good one there.

– The secondary has fully transitioned over to a 2 high pre-snap alignment. They started doing that more and more last season. They are employing some quarters concepts but it’s remains a lot of 3 deep coverage so there’s plenty of disguise.

– Austin looked quick at corner but I think where he’s really improved his ability to control space in general. His coverage is a lot tighter overall.

– Parker and Thomas are known commodities at safety. They’ll only be better this upcoming season.

– Haughton didn’t make any big plays but he was where he needed to be and he was able to identify and close quickly. He’s going to be a reliable player this season and I think an all conference type safety in his junior season.

– Sunderland moves well. He’s always had good size and the ability to run. He’s still working through his alignment and assignment issues. There was a wide open RB that was in the middle of the field. The coverage call appeared to be a rolled cover 3 and Sunderland got sucked out of the middle. But again, he’s only going to get better when it comes to understanding his assignments.

– I think Mbanasor looked good. I was especially impressed by how he looked when he stayed square and “caught” receivers. Out of his press when he stays square he made it very difficult for wide receivers to get into their routes. I think he could be the guy to transition OU’s defensive cornerback position away from a finesse roll and into a more physical roll in the future.

– Stephens is another big cornerback. He’s still putting things together. He had some assignment issues but he’s clearly come a long way and flashes athleticism and physicality (love the form tackle on the sideline). It’ll be interesting to see a future secondary (perhaps 2017) with him and Mbanasor on opposite sides as two big physical cornerbacks.

 

  • SamSooner

    First!

    • Rick

      I will never be first, because I never have anything thoughtful or even clever to say in that situation like “First”, so SECOND.

      • SamSooner

        I usually never do. I just did it to piss off Metz.

        • Rick

          K is probably ornery enough to watch for Metz to sign off, then hit the send key.

  • SamSooner

    I’ll have to read it later Super K, but thanks!

  • Rick

    Thank you K!!!! I am anxious to go thru this in depth.

    • SamSooner

      Read slowly; focus on the syntax and sentence structure. You have a long time to wait until fall arrives.

      • Rick

        Hey, I’m no Dustin…..

        • SamSooner

          No one is. LOL!

          • Rick

            Dustin is!!!!! 🙂 He knows more syntax than a room full of mathematicians!

  • KJ1123

    Asidse from J. Evans….the backers looked to play out of position. I think some young guys may get a chance early to play come fall.

    • CrimsonNative

      It’s going to be a rough year for these guys. There’s no cupcake’s at the start of the season to get their feet wet. Hopefully, they can get it together by the start of the season to muster out some W’s.

      • KJ1123

        Agree, a front loaded schedule isn’t optimal be any means…but it will force alot of kids to get a kick in the pants from the start of fall camp.

        • CrimsonNative

          Yeah, it will definitely be a trial by fire season.

        • Matt

          yeah hopefully fall camp is much more physical…gonna have to be if they to be able to have any hope of not getting steamrolled by Houston’s smashmouth spread. Linebackers are going to have to be very disciplined.

          • CrimsonNative

            You are absolutely correct when you say that they need to be disciplined against a spread offense. We’ve all witnessed what Texsa has done to us in the past working the middle of the field. It can get ugly real quick when the LB’s are lost in the sauce.

      • Ryan

        We will have 2 5 stars at LB. When’s the last time we have said that? Hopefully they both can show up big this season.

      • Rick

        That’s why I am excited about the amount of added depth we seem to have added as was “sampled” in the spring game.

        • CrimsonNative

          That’s true, we have definitely added some very good players to that position that have been missing for quite some time.

    • Matt

      does Tay look to get back to the physical attacking style of linebackers past or does he continue the finesse backer trend?

      • KJ1123

        I think if he is going to continue to play inside he needs to get physical. Traditionally Ohio States offensive linemen make a living at swallowing up backers.

        • Matt

          I take it he didn’t look too physical in the spring game?

          • Dick Bump

            I thought he looked pretty good, but it was one-hand touch. I’m not sure how physical you can be under those conditions.

    • Matt

      I remember that Deberry was 247’s #2 ILB in his class. I wonder if he might do better inside?

      • KJ1123

        He may be, I honestly don’t see that explosiveness on the edge at this point.

        • hemisooner

          He is thinking too much right now.

  • SWoods

    Thanks K!!

  • KJ1123

    I agree with Austin….can’t bullrush all the time.

  • Ryan

    Kapri Doucet will surprise. The man can run better than any LB on campus right now.

    • KJ1123

      I like Doucet alot. I’m expecting him to be in the mix for sure.

    • soonersd

      Has this been confirmed with any testing yet ie 40, shuttle times, etc or is this what you’ve just heard, witnessed, or observed from tape?

      I hadn’t heard this anywhere else and would love to have another athletic kid in the mix at LB.

      On a side note, I can’t wait to see what Caleb Kelly looks like. I know it’s a big jump from HS to D1 but still optimistic he will be in the rotation due to his athleticism.

      Who is the highest rated or last unanimous 5 star LB that committed to us, anyone know off hand?

  • KJ1123

    The OL from the spring is it. Nobody coming in the fall that will contribute immediately so they better get to geling quick. I think they are missing the leaders at this point. Someone has to step up. Alvarez would be the obvious choice but he seems like a quiet guy.

  • Ryan

    Powers, Danley, Ford, and Alvarez will be much more physical than Kasitati and Darlington. We won’t be pushed around as much against the Clemsons I don’t think.

    • KJ1123

      Im hoping Powers steps up. But once Dalton comes back and gets the green light, he could be the starter and that will sure up that side of the line. Samia needs to stay at RT.

      • D Hunter Sanchez

        So, there is no one to push Samia at RT?

        • KJ1123

          I think Quinn can push him at that spot from what I saw on Sat. But he’s just too light right now. Samia is playing guard out of necessity imo.

          • wolfbuilder

            Wieght doesnt keep u from getting pushed around, dru is the strongest lineman we have and with the right leverage being 285 or 320 wont matter, I have seen 350 pounds guys get ran over, WIEGHT ISNT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING

            if u want proof Tommie Harris weighed 275 and rolled 300 plus point guards all day

          • Super Keith

            Pad level, pad level, pad level! Leverage is what matters most.

          • Spitting Bull

            Kelly Greg comes to mind as someone who could take the right angles to leverage all he had. Wrestling teaches that pretty well.

          • Super Keith

            Yep, Greg was the perfect example of a guy that knew how to use technique to beat much bigger guys. He perfected the art and made a nice living in the NFL.

          • Mark_in_VA

            You only need to look back to last year and Farniok. He was really big, but just didn’t have any push to him.

          • Rick

            To prove your point the greatest NT at OU was probably Lucious Selmon. 5’11 236 lb. (not a misprint) He had great strength, leverage and uncanny balance. Imagine a guy of Perine’s size anchoring the OU D line, and doing it better than anyone before or since.

          • Sooner Ray

            God bless Mrs. Selmon. 🙂

          • Rick

            I have prayed for her to have and abundance of grandsons, but alas.

          • KJ1123

            Being a 275 offensive lineman and a 275 defensive lineman are two totally different things. Nobody will ever start at OT for us at 265. EVER. In fact, nobody will ever start anywhere on this line at 265. Which is why B is trying to get the whole line to be over 300. Yeah Dru is strong, but being weight room strong and on the field strong aren’t the same. Dru got away with alot last year because of positioning and Baker scrambling, same could be said for the rest of the line.

          • wolfbuilder

            Being 325 doesn’t mean ur stong and never has just like u say weight room sting doesn’t mean ur string on the field, it does with the right leverage and always has that’s y u lift weights

      • Ryan

        Dalton looks too small in my opinion.

        • KJ1123

          He’s the right height for guard, he’s 6’4″, weight wise I’m not sure where he’s at right now. Powers is closer to about 6’5″. But Dalton moves better especially in zone blocking imo.

          • hOUligan

            It is interesting seeing the progression of recruiting by Bedenbaugh. From centers that were 6’2-3 and had trouble holding weight at 300, Roberson is 6’4 320+ and recent OC offer Creed Humphrey is already 6’4 300+ as a hs JR.

          • Super Keith

            6’3″ 290/300 is the prototypical size for a center. I can’t remember a time we had a center over 6’3″ (Alvarez, Darlington, Ikard, Habern & Carter were all 6’3″ or shorter). Not that I would mind having a mammoth up front.

            I think where the difference really shows is the rest of the line. Bedenbaugh made it very clear when he got here that he wanted size up front. That has definitely improved.

            Given what Bedenbaugh inherited (especially after the 2011 recruiting class disaster), he has truly earned his paycheck.

          • hOUligan

            Since Bedenbaugh started getting his own players, the size and nasty-o-meter have swung way over. I’m still waiting for the day top Oline talent is lined up hoping for the chance to play at OU. Baffled how we continue to miss on some top offers when Bedenbaugh has a track record 2nd to none of getting linemen getting big paychecks in the league.

          • Super Keith

            Agreed! I think this group could be the first (in a while) to make some noise in the NFL draft (when it’s their time). Brown has 1st round potential, and Samia isn’t too far behind him. I think once that pipeline opens up again (to the draft) more and more high profile guys will be attracted.

          • Top notch lineman are hard toncone by…unless your tOSU or Bama. But after we get us another NC here soon it’ll become easier to 2 pick up 2 or 3 top tier lineman. But to tour point of coach B. Give him just a 2 or 3 more years he will have it rolling. He got my Lil bro on board for 2017.

          • The man knows what he’s doing.

        • Super Keith

          I really though we recruited him as a center, but I think he’ll be fine (size wise) at guard. I’m still a little worried that he’s a little lean (he’s listed at 290). Powers is much bigger by comparison.

      • hemisooner

        Powers looked good. Mauler type and great at the point of attack. Alvarez looked really good. Hard to find Centers that can pull like him. The guy I’m hoping steps up is Orso. I like his potential and seems like a natural OT. Ford impressed me for being a RFR. Brown and Samia very talented SOPHS. I’m impressed with how Coach B has reshape this Oline.

    • hOUligan

      Getting Dalton and Danley back in August is going to help provide much more competition and depth at the OG spot. Coach B worked so many different combinations in the spring game it was difficult to gauge how well they worked as a unit. Someone emerging at the RT position so that Samia doesn’t HAVE to be there would be great.

    • Super Keith

      Alvarez is one of the nastiest (in a good way) O-linemen we’ve had in a while. He plays with a completely different mentality than Darlington (or even Ikard) played with, and that’s not to say those two were bad at all. Alvarez has rapidly become my favorite O-lineman just because of how he plays.

      Overall, we should absolutely be better than last year…and we’re still fairly young up front. It’s only going to get better as the season rolls on.

      • Rick

        He just looks pissed a lot of the time. I think he’s a lot smarter than I have given him in the past. I’m really glad to be wrong sometimes.

  • Rick

    I agree with most of what K outlines, in fact I agree with all of it. What I don’t know about is what he didn’t write. I was pretty impressed with most of what I saw from the offense. My main concerns are on the D. Lots of good yound talent coming in over the last couple of years, a few of the DB’s that are supposed to be “seasoned”, didn’t appear to be so good.

  • Scott

    Micah Looked good when thrown too.

    • D Hunter Sanchez

      Where’s Humphrey? Need speed to burn. Baxter, Dede, Andrews, and either Green, Miller, Lewis or Quick or Mead will be 4th…More worried about the DEFENSE front 7…than anything else.

      • Scott

        Here’s my Starting WR’s: Dede , Lewis , Quick , Miller. Can swap Andrews in for Lewis. Green still needs to prove to me he can catch the ball in redzone , Mead did get robbed a few times from D.Austin so im not too worried about Mead.

        • D Hunter Sanchez

          Andrews not starting? Why? Too slow?

          • Scott

            Andrews can take Lewis spot.

          • Stephen

            Andrews over Lewis. Lewis wasn’t bad but wasn’t impressive either.

          • Dick Bump

            Andrews will have a BIG role this year, so it is written.

    • Framoka

      why doesn’t he return punts? Seems ideal to me.

  • Chris White

    Curious how you felt Jordan Smallwood did at WR K, he is built like Dez Bryant but just needs to stay healthy. I think Dahu Green is our best route runner, he seems to always get open but just can’t hold onto the ball. If he can correct this he could be good

  • hOUligan

    Yea!! Spring notes are here!! Now if I could only find the full spring game replay to go along w them. Much appreciated, K. Bolton was all over the field and a leading tackler. When he gets his assignments down he is going to be the same player most felt he could be.

    • kt-raida

      Bolton is one of my favorite recruits from that class.

      • bigrackhunter

        Bolton was bought in as more of a pass rusher, right before we made the switch to the 3-4. Hearing a lot of comparisons to Ronell “The Hammer” Lewis.

  • Defend Colfax
    • OUknowitscomin

      Haven’t even read yet, but thank you. Need to find private place to rightfully enjoy. But for now……….

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  • Sooner Ray

    Very nice K. Now I’m tempted to fire up the DVR and watch some of your points closer.

  • Framoka

    Thanks K. Looking ahead, Ohio State is replacing many more talented pieces than we are…so they face the same dilemma of throwing untried players into a big early game. Houston worries me because of their QB, coaching, and the underdog mentality they will leverage plus its in Houston. I think it could be hard for OU to get up for that game but the saving grace is its game #1 and OSU is game #3. I think leadership is critical for OU this season, who’s going to step up on the D side and replace Tap and Striker’s leadership roles? Great to be a Sooner fan!

    • GrandeBass

      After a New Year’s Six win over the seminoles, I doubt many sooners will see Houston as an underdog. (If they do, they need to be put in check). OU will have to showcase championship level ball early in the season if they hope to do well this year, and I’m a big fan of having that extra motivation to be great Sooner rather than later.

      • Framoka

        My hope is that a) OU knows Houston is good even though they lost several good players and b) they’re ready to hit someone that’s not on their own team e.g. its the first game. OU will be favored by at least 3.5; probably up to 6.5 even though Houston had an amazing season last year. FSU was solid but lacking top QB play last year.

      • Super Keith

        This is the best opening game opponent we’ve faced since 2009 (BYU). I’d love it if we had an easier game first, then played Houston, but that’s not how it’s set up (besides, I always wish we had more game experience before playing a good team early. Last year, I was worried that the Akron game wasn’t enough to get us ready for Tennessee). I think our guys will be ready, and won’t overlook Houston. As you mentioned, it’s not like they went under the radar last year, so they should have our full attention.

        • hOUligan

          True. I’d like a ‘light-weight’ for a warm-up. But I look at it like Houston is wishing they had a warm-up before having to face OU. Hopefully give the guys more edge to prepare for a tough opener

          • Hartshorne Miner

            Houston was probably thought to be a light-weight at the time this game was scheduled. They’ve come a long way as a team.

          • soonersd

            Ya, as much as I’d like a warm-up game before Houston… I’m sure they are thinking the same thing.

          • Cav66

            I like the way you think hOUligan. Houston will be good, but so will we. We don’t need to be the ones worried about getting enough practice before the game.

        • Matt

          My biggest concern at this point is linebacker followed closely by pass rush. Nothing I’ve heard out of spring encourages me much about either of those.

          • Rick

            Matt, I found based on the Spring game, it was really hard to tell. They weren’t allowed to tackle the starters, so positioning was more to touch rather than position to lay the leather. I found it confusing. I really didn’t see personel out of position, just not ready to bury someone. Only actual game situation will tell the story for sure, but I was really quite encouraged by not getting out of place.

          • Cav66

            A lot of talent, depth, and size flashing potential in those areas during the spring game (probably more than we had last year). There is just little in the way of proven players, and the spring game just isn’t the format to give you anything definitive (mostly provides fodder for a lot of good conjecture). The Dline talent and depth along with the size and talent of our young linebackers gives me some optimism. College football, you’re always reloading somewhere.

        • SoonerOracle737

          I think the deciding factor in the game against Houston will be how our D performs against Houston’s O. We need defensive line penetration going on all day to disrupt their offense. I’m hoping we can rotate in a lot of fresh legs during what will be a very hot & humid game.

    • Super Keith

      I actually believe Houston will be the tougher opponent early in the season. Like you said, tOSU lost so many pieces. Even if they can find help for many of them, they are literally replacing something like 75% of their snaps on defense. I think they’ll be fine as the season rolls along, but I think it’s going to be a struggle for them early.

      Houston, on the other hand, is coming off of a year that will have them very confident. Plus, it’s probably the biggest home game they’ve had since UCLA came to town in 2011 (Houston won that game). The good news is that Houston’s success isn’t a secret, so there shouldn’t be any “catching us off guard”. Finally, it’s Houston’s season opener too, so they won’t have an advantage in that regard.

  • Slim Sooner

    That was worth the wait! Thanks, K. Appreciate the notes, good stuff. I was surprised at how well Rodriquez played and Quick’s catch and run to put Red team on top was great. Baker played more than I expected. So thankful we got Shake n Bake.

  • Dick Bump

    Great stuff!

  • cush creekmont

    Thanks K!

  • kt-raida

    Great read! I think this is the year for #8 depth in football equals strength, You have to have a capable QB, we have one of the best.

  • bigrackhunter

    Nice write up K! Good stuff as always!

  • Manny78d

    Nice recap! I guess Geno Lewis didn’t play or didn’t produce? I wasn’t able to make the game but I watched highlights so my guess is he didn’t produce…

    • Sooner Ray

      Caught a couple nice balls, looks real strong going against the DB’s IMO.

      • SoonerOracle737

        Yeah, his strength will help us during the long season. Which brings up a point – anyone else think we need to beef up our WR’s? I mean the slight build guys are shifty and speedy, but they get trapped on routes by physical DB’s. IMHO I think we need more guys who can out physical the DB’s on LOS. Or ones that can rip out the 50/50 jump balls. Thoughts?

        • Sooner Ray

          I think both can be effective. The smalls need to use speed and good route running to keep defenders on their heels, Andrews and Geno have the strength to fight through anything. Smallwood has the man body, he just needs to produce.

          • SoonerOracle737

            Yeah, Shep was so good at route running he didn’t need to out physical everyone. I guess there are techniques to counter most anything. But I think if we had some more beef on WR’s it would help.

    • Rick

      Ray is right, Lewis was visably stronger than our DB’s.

      • Super Keith

        Feels like a little smaller version of Justin Brown. Like Stoops said, WR from that part of the country play in a completely different system, so that size is needed. It’s not going to hurt having it in the Big XII either. More than anything, I think his veteran leadership will be a big benefit to that unit as a whole.

        • Rick

          From what I’ve read, he’s already taken on that role in his own way, and it’s been reported the younger players are buying into his “by example” leadership. I think he will be an impact.

          • soonersd

            good to hear… this, of course, is what most of us hope for in a 5th year guy.

      • Manny78d

        Sounds good. Appreciate the update!

  • Cedarsooner

    Really enjoyed your input.

  • Super Keith

    What’d you think of Chance Sylvie? Of all the new guys, he stood out the most to me. You can tell he’s very comfortable (which is rare at that stage). I can see him being a solid ‘utility’ backup this year.

    Also, based on what you saw, who would you start opposite Thomas at CB; Austin or Mbanasor?

    • SoonerOracle737

      I liked Sylvie. He’s going to be a good one with a chance at being great. Right now I would start Austin over Mbanasor due to Austin’s great cover skills, but I would find a way to get Mbanasor some reps since he has such a huge upside.

  • bjwalker82

    Thanks for taking time away from your Texas gig to come see us lowly Sooner fans K 😛
    But seriously the Brainiacs were on point about a lot of these guys and look at where we are now. Not to mention there are more in June!

  • Birddawg

    Thank you for all your hard work TFB!!
    Truly blessed you guys are the best sooner fans.
    We appreciate everything.

    Awesome read K

  • Rick
    • OohRah Mama

      Welp, they deleted that page. Can you tell us the gist of it?

      • Rick

        Sorry, it was some players saying there was nothing to the charges, going back and forth, basically saying there was no investegation because nothing happened. I assume because the tweets went away, some evidence mysteriously showed up, maybe, sorta, kinda all by itself.

  • Jason Vos

    Looks like we will be running predominantly a 4-2-5/3-3-5 defense
    with Will Johnson being on the field majority of the time. This will
    give Mike Stoops the opportunity to rush the Jack LB’s (Obo/ Deberry
    & Jackson a lot more). Defensive depth chart should look like this

    DE: Dimon / Ward/ Gallimore
    DT: Romar / Overton / Wade
    DE: Walker / Roberts / Lampkin
    JOLB: Obo / R.Deberry / M.Jackson
    MLB: J.Evans / C.Kelly/ J.M Terry
    OLB: T.Evans / K.Doucet/ C.Bolton
    NB/SOLB: W.Johnson / C.Sylvie
    CB: J. Thomas / S.Taylor/ A.Stephens
    CB: D.Austin / P.J Mbanasor / J. Parker
    SS: S.Parker / W.Sunderland / C.Sylvie
    FS: A.Thomas / K.Haughton / P.McKinney
    KR: Ross, Anderson
    PR: J.Mixon

    • soonersd

      I really hope Mbanasor gets the nod over Austin. Regardless, of the fight in the dog, Austin, is too limited b/c of his stature IMO. I know we start on the road with Houston but I think PJ should be our guy.

      I, of course, will sit back and let the coaches (who see them everyday) make an educated decision.

      • Cav66

        I agree that Mb gives us the best combination of traits at the position. Love Austin for his fight, but would love to see a more physical corner emerge.

  • Bob Edwards

    Am I the only one that dreams of a day when we sit around this time of year and discuss which talented LB is likely to transfer because of lack of playing time.

    • Sooner Ray

      That is a nice situation to be in, just not something I enjoy talking about. Never want to see talent leave even though it is usually a reality.

      • Rick

        Price of success and good recruiting.

      • Bob Edwards

        We seem to have been there with most positions at one time or another. Just seems it’s been a long time since we had enough LB’s.

        • Sooner Ray

          It didn’t help when we went a year or two not really using them.

          • Bob Edwards

            That and before that Venables seemed to always just scrap enough together to make a good set of starters. Seemed like he required to much mentally from LB’s and it took them a couple of years to get going, if ever.

          • bigrackhunter

            How much bad luck did we experience at the LB position, most notably at MLB?? Lance Mitchell 2003, Ryan Reynolds and Austin Box rip 2008. We all know a Venables led D the MLB is most important position on the field.

          • Dick Bump

            At LB, the 2s just never seemed to be ready to take over. When we lost a starter, there was a big drop off that hurt the defense. Hopefully, we are developing better depth.

          • soonersd

            Don’t forget the juco transfer they ended up making sit out b/c some sort of association with a semi-pro team? i forget the actual circumstances but that was a year we were really thin and he would have been starting. Balugen, I believe?

          • bigrackhunter

            Mike Baluga I think was his name from Lackawanna Jc. He was the starter against Florida, and your correct he was the expected to compete for the starting job in 2009.

    • Rick

      Which QB do we have or will have through committment do you think will be the 1st to bolt Mr. Bob? btw I rolled down the window and yelled “HELLO BOB” while going north through Bham the other day. I’m sure you heard me.

      • Sooner Ray

        Can I use Cody Thomas as my answer? 🙂

        • Rick

          I have a feeling that in 2-3 years, we’ll be seeing one of OUr young QB’s leaving again. Hopefully not 2 in the same year next time.

          • Bob Edwards

            QB’s seem the most likely to leave. Probably because they don’t rotate as much as other positions do.

          • Rick

            QB’s are seen as, and see themselves as leaders. True leaders don’t like to be non-utilized in any capacity they find themselves.

          • Sooner Ray

            It happens. Very important to reload every year and not get lazy or content where recruiting is concerned.

      • Bob Edwards

        I don’t think that will be a QB problem for a couple of years. Murray can’t really transfer again. Kendall might, but I think he may very well beat out Murray when we get to that point.

        As for yelling in Bham. That’s about 90 miles from where I live so, if I could have heard you it would have been something

        • Rick

          Sorry, I thought that’s where you are. I often work in Mobile, Montgomery, Bham, and up toward Steele and Ft. Towson.

          • Bob Edwards

            I live in Grant which is about thirty miles from Huntsville where I work. That’s north end of the state.

          • Rick

            I used to work out of Redstone/Marshall quite a bit several years ago, I haven’t been in for several years.

          • Bob Edwards

            Our main customer is on Redstone I’ve done work for both DOD and NASA over the years. It’s a nice area. Not at all what most people think of when they think of Alabama. Highest number of Engineering Phd’s per capita in the US. Best ratio of income to cost of living in the US. And the primary sport at UA-Huntsville is hockey of all things.

          • Rick

            One of my clearances is with DOD, I always enjoyed those facilities above most of the others. I genuinely liked going there, I genuinely disliked going to Anniston.

          • Bob Edwards

            I’ve been through Anniston a few times. Didn’t really want to stop. Some parts of Redstone aren’t that nice, but the customers who want software engineers usually have some nice digs. As a tax payer though I really question how nice a buildings they put our civil servants in sometimes.

          • Rick

            I’ve witnessed it both ways. I’ve been to most all of the military facilities nation wide. Some are quite spartan, some are a little nicer. Not many are lavish. The common factor was, they were all usually happy to see me. (At least that’s what I told myself, the truth be known it was probably my wife they were happy to see)

      • SoonerOracle737

        The QB situation next year will be the big story. I think we will find out a lot about the character of the young men when the decision is made. I can’t predict who will win because Kendall played so well as a true Frosh. Murray is electric, and Kendall is solid. Who wins? I haven’t a clue. But I hope they both stay since we will most likely need them at some point in season.

    • SoonerOracle737

      We are going to need a ton of LB’ers to play this style of defense. I don’t know if we will ever have enough?

    • Matt

      I think they’re getting there Bob. They just have to stop having classes where they sign 2! Linebackers…back to back classes after switching to the 3-4 with 2! linebackers…that’s just killer. I think they’re getting there though. 5 last year and 1, hopefully 2 so far this year with hopefully a couple more to follow

  • Cary Newman

    Dahu Green will need to catch the ball on a more consistent basis this fall if he wants to make the rotation.

  • boomer8

    Good analysis and insight. Thank you, Super K!

  • metzker

    Nice assessments,Thanks K !!!!!!!

  • SoonerOracle737

    K – I like your take on Mbanasor and the physicality he brings against WR’s. That adds a new dimension that we haven’t had in a while.

  • ouwooferman

    Dalton Rodriguez – When he was in, he seemed to be everywhere, No comments?

    • Spitting Bull

      I know right…I kept looking back over the notes to find his name. Not.

  • Hooknladder

    AD Miller seems to be ahead of the rest of the 2nd tier Receivers imo. 1st Tier looks like Westbrook, Andrews, Jarvis Baxter and Quick (maybe Smallwood) seem to be the frontrunners. Geno Lewis looked pretty stable as well. Green and Mead not bad. That includes slot but they do mix and match a lot.

    Defensive line could be improved this year and needs to be to help shield the LBs. I think Obo will be fine if he can avoid biting on fakes once in awhile. Bolton looks like the real deal.

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