NORMAN — Oklahoma enters the 2013 football season strong in some position groups, but relatively thin experience-wise in others, most notably on the defensive line and in the secondary.
Here's a look at five newcomers who could make an immediate impact in their first year as Sooners.
HATARI BYRD, FR., SS
Ht., Wt.: 6-1, 190
Why he'll contribute: Byrd said in late January that he'd been promised a starting position on Oklahoma's defense right away. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops shot down that idea in his signing day news conference, but Byrd's talent will give him an opportunity to play early. Junior Quinton Hayes and senior Gabe Lynn worked as starters through the spring, but neither has much experience in those positions.
Why he might not: Hayes didn't play last year because of a yearlong suspension, and Lynn has struggled some at both cornerback and nickelback over the past two seasons. If they each prove to be good fits for the safety spots, Byrd's opportunity for regular playing time could diminish.
DANNON CAVIL, FR., WR
Ht., Wt.: 6-5, 205
Why he'll contribute: Oklahoma lost both Kenny Stills and Justin Brown from last year's team, so a tall, sure-handed receiver could easily find his niche in a unit headlined by smaller, slot guys. He enrolled early and gained valuable experience through spring practices.
Why he might not: Senior Lacoltan Bester left spring football as a first-team wideout. Jaz Reynolds returns after being suspended all of last season, and if he continues working his way back into coaches' good graces, he'll be a factor. Sophomore Durron Neal also had an impressive spring.