NORMAN — Continuing our unit-by-unit look at the 2014 Oklahoma football team, here is a look at the Sooners’ receivers entering Saturday’s spring game.
3; Sterling Shepard; Jr.; 5-10, 190
7; Dannon Cavil; RFr.; 6-4; 212
8; Austin Bennett; So.; 6-0; 164
1; K.J. Young, RFr.; 6-0; 175
17; Jordan Smallwood; RFr.; 6-2, 210
XX; Michiah Quick, Fr.; 6-0; 170
5; Durron Neal; Jr.; 5-11; 199
12; Derrick Woods; So.; 6-1; 186
XX; Dallis Todd; Fr.; 6-5; 210
WIDE RECEIVER ANALYSIS: There’s plenty of playing time up for grabs here with only Shepard and Neal back among last season’s regular contributors.
Shepard, with seven touchdown receptions last year, is the clear leader of the unit. He was fantastic in the Sugar Bowl, with seven catches for 63 yards and a touchdown and three carries for 14 yards and a touchdown in the win over Alabama. He’s been limited in the spring and will not play Saturday but should be 100 percent by the time summer workouts get underway.
Neal will also miss the spring game after suffering an injury last week but should also be back in time for summer workouts. Right now, he has the top spot at the other wide receiver position.
At slot, both Smallwood and K.J. Young have gotten plenty of praise from OU coaches during bowl preparations and during the spring. Smallwood’s freshman year was over before it began, when a foot injury before two-a-days ended any chance of him playing last season. Young was the star of Sugar Bowl preparations much the way Trevor Knight was a year before.
Woods and Cavil have talent, no doubt, but need to find consistency both in their route-running and blocking. A big factor in the Sooners’ successes last year was the way the receivers blocked.
Todd and Quick are true freshmen who have a ton of upside but it remains to be seen how they’ll fit in with this group once they arrive on campus. Quick is a guy that could play either inside or outside, though he’s likely to start off inside.
Here’s a full schedule for the “State of the Sooners” series:
Wednesday, 9 a.m..: Special teams
Wednesday, noon.: Defensive backs
Wednesday, 3 p.m.: Linebackers
Thursday, 9 a.m.: Defensive linemen
Thursday, noon: Offensive linemen
Thursday, 3 p.m.: Tight ends
Friday, 9 a.m.: Wide receivers
Friday, noon: Running backs
Friday, 3 p.m.: Quarterbacks