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Is this Oklahoma’s best receiving group?

by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: November 29, 2012
Kenny Stills, center, dances with teammates after beating Oklahoma State on Saturday in Bedlam. If the Sooners beat TCU on Saturday and finish tied with Kansas State in the Big 12 standings, OU and Kansas State would be co-champions. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Kenny Stills, center, dances with teammates after beating Oklahoma State on Saturday in Bedlam. If the Sooners beat TCU on Saturday and finish tied with Kansas State in the Big 12 standings, OU and Kansas State would be co-champions. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
No Justin Brown – most likely you didn’t even know who he was. No Jalen Saunders – his NCAA waivers had not cleared.

Think again to Saturday. A nine-yard touchdown reception from Jalen Saunders and another 81-yard punt return to the house then capped with a two-point conversion from Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones to Brown.

That is exactly what you call getting an ice cream sundae with the whip cream and cherry on top. So sweet. So right and all yours.

That leads us to the question: Is this Oklahoma’s best receiving group?

Take back those plays by Saunders and the grab by Brown and right there it’s just a 14-point swing. Sure, Jones could have possibly found another open man. But then again, he may not have.

And that’s just one game.

The junior and senior wide receiver account for 108 of Oklahoma’s 240 true wide receiver receptions — and Saunders didn’t start playing until he was cleared by the NCAA during OU-Texas week. Then take into consideration the true star wide receiver, junior Kenny Stills, leads with the most catches on the team with 73. He also has the most touchdown receptions by 11. Brown has the next most with four and Saunders has two.

We can debate this question for a long time. Probably for about the same amount of time that we can have a lengthy discussion on where this Oklahoma team would be without Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders.

But here are the straight facts: Justin Brown will graduate. Kenny Stills — although he has declined to really comment on it — could go into the NFL draft. Saunders could probably go too (just really low). Remember, before he came here, he was one of the most dominant receivers in the Mountain West Conference.

That leaves Oklahoma with its true freshman — and the guys that were suspended in May. Freshman like No. 4 receiver Sterling Shepard who has shown he can make a big play under pressure and Durron Neal and superstar of the preseason Trey Metoyer.

As far as Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops’ opinion, he said it’s hard to compare if this is the best set of receivers he’s had at Oklahoma.

“It is one of the best,” Stoops said. “You know me, I never say anything’s the best. When you look back on some of the guys Jason White was running around with, with Mark Clayton, Mark Bradley and Brandon Jones, those are all three guys who have had NFL careers, significant NFL careers.

“But these guys are great players. These receivers we’ve got have been awesome; they’ve been consistent. Route-running, catching. Just, they’ve been a really great group. Unselfish, working together. Even the young guys coming in have done a really good job.”

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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