Breaking down OU’s latest depth chart
Monday morning, OU released its latest two-deep depth chart, which featured a few surprising developments. A lot can change between now and the Sooners’ Sept. 4 opener against Utah State. But this serves as a good indicator of how certain players are performing behind closed doors.
1. The absence of Dejuan Miller and Jaz Reynolds in the starting lineup (Reynolds, the whole two-deep altogether). These two wideouts were supposed to be the future of the corps, considering how they closed so well last season. But neither is off to the camp the Sooners were hoping for. Miller has been good at times, but then disappears. Reynolds is no longer the only burner of the group, and will have to show more than speed to be a significant part of the rotation.
2. The emergence of Cameron Kenney and Joe Powell in the two-deep (Kenney, the starting lineup). We all wrote Kenney off after he fell out of the rotation late last season (coupled with the rise of Miller, Reynolds). But credit Kenney for hanging in there. The senior is having a solid camp, and if he can eliminate the drops that caused him to lose his starting spot last year, Kenney could be a bigger part of the offense than anyone could have imagined.
Powell has shown great speed, and is basically pressing for the role Reynolds held last year. Powell is only 162 pounds, but he has shown the fortitude to go up and get the ball downfield.
3. Clearly, the coaches weren’t blowing smoke about fullback/tight end Trey Millard. The freshman out of Columbia, Mo., has supplanted Marshall Musil as the starting fullback. I think both will play, but for a true freshman to be penciled in as a starter after being on campus for less than 3 months is saying a lot.
4. R.J. Washington is back from the abyss. We haven’t heard much lately about Washington, who was the No. 1 overall recruit for the class of 2008. But the fact he’s emerged in the two-deep is a positive sign the light may be beginning to flicker.
5. Jaydan Bird will be an important backup as Austin Box heals from a bum back. Bird may be listed as the backup behind Tom Wort in the middle, but I suspect should something happen to Travis Lewis, Bird would move back to the weakside, where he practiced until Box’s injury. Corey Nelson is a rising star, but linebackers usually don’t play as freshmen in Brent Venables’ complex system.
6. Talk about an influx of youth. Seven true freshmen (Joe Powell, Kenny Stills, Bronson Irwin, Trey Millard, Corey Nelson, Aaron Colvin, Tony Jefferson) in the two-deep. Contrast that with only 10 seniors (Brian Lepak, Eric Mensik, Cam Kenney, Brandon Caleb, DeMarco Murray, Mossis Madu, Adrian Taylor, Jeremy Beal, Jonathan Nelson, Quinton Carter). I doubt there’s ever been that many true freshmen on a two-deep heading into the opener since Bob Stoops has been at OU.
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