NORMAN — More than a decade after his collegiate playing career ended, former Oklahoma tight end Trent Smith says he’s just “a donor and a fan,” lacking much special insight into the inner-workings of today’s Sooner football program.
But he has noticed a troubling trend the past couple seasons regarding his old position.
“You notice that tight ends aren’t out there,” Smith said. “You notice that tight ends aren’t making plays, and all of a sudden, it’s a big deal when they make two catches in a game. That’s not the way it used to be.
“I’m sure I speak for all of us old tight ends; it’s exciting to see the position back in the limelight a little bit.”
Is the Oklahoma tight end making a comeback after two years of relative obscurity? OU fans will get their first glance at the 2014 Sooners in next Saturday’s spring game, and while Blake Bell’s knee injury might dampen some of the excitement, lots of eyes will still be on the tight ends.
Tight ends were an integral piece of Stoops’ offenses throughout his first 13 seasons in Norman, with playmakers such as Smith, Joe Jon Finley, Jermaine Gresham and James Hanna contributing often.
In 2011, Hanna, Trent Ratterree and Austin Haywood combined for 43 catches, 524 yards and four touchdowns, but after Hanna and Ratterree graduated and Haywood left the team, the 2012 team lacked any significant tight end presence.