NORMAN — Oklahoma lost a couple valuable players on the offensive line from last season with Gabe Ikard and Bronson Irwin lost to graduation.
But this might be the deepest group of offensive linemen the Sooners have had in a long time.
“Since I’ve been here, there have been five or six people, but man we’re stacked everywhere,” starting right tackle Daryl Williams said. “That’s just saying we’ve got good competition and guys that can play.”
In Ikard’s spot, center, Ty Darlington takes over after playing just a couple games on special teams as a sophomore.
But that was primarily due to Ikard’s staying healthy last season. As a true freshmen, Oklahoma coaches were confident enough in Darlington to regularly use him when Ikard was injured, including in one start.
The battle for Irwin’s vacated right guard spot has been one of the most interesting position battles to watch during preseason practice.
Nila Kasitati regularly rotated with Irwin at the spot last season, including starting seven games.
Tyler Evans started 31 games at right guard in three seasons before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament before his senior season in 2012. Last spring, he tore it again, once again forcing him to miss the season.
Now, Evans appears healthy and is challenging Kasitati for the spot at right guard.
At left guard, Adam Shead started for most of last season before his season was ended prematurely due to a back injury.
When he couldn’t play in the Sugar Bowl, Dionte Savage stepped into his place and played well, setting up a fight for the position going into this fall.