Receivers competition much improved
Wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said competition this fall is a night-and-day difference from last season when dropped passes and inconsistent play plagued the Sooners.
“Last year we had some guys start by default,” Norvell said. “To start is something you earn by consistent play and playing at a high level. We have competition we did not have last year.”
Norvell said the Sooners probably will travel five or six, maybe seven receivers on road trips but it’s too early to eliminate any of 10 candidates, including five incoming freshmen.
“We probably won’t know until game week,” Norvell said. “Guys that were playing last year are finding out there’s a lot more competition. It should make the whole group better. Whoever ends up playing on Saturdays should be playing at a higher level.”
Preseason All-American Ryan Broyles is locked in as the starting slot receiver but will be moved around, playing all three receiver spots. Dejuan Miller and freshman Kenny Stills are the leading candidates for the other two starting spots.
Jaz Reynolds, Cameron Kenney and Brandon Caleb all recorded 13 or more receptions last season. Stills and four other freshmen (Justin McCay, Trey Franks, Joe Powell and Sheldon McClain) are in the mix. Special team play could be the determining factor.
Declining to single out players from Saturday’s scrimmage, defensive coordinator Brent Venables said competition for several starting and reserve spots will continue, although a few veterans have solidified spots.
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