Although the position group hasn’t been as productive in the passing game the past couple seasons, Oklahoma has a history of strong tight end play, including the 15-year Bob Stoops era.
Here’s a look at the five best Oklahoma tight ends since Stoops became the Sooners’ head coach in 1999:
1. Jermaine Gresham (2006-09): The Ardmore product became one of Oklahoma’s most important weapons on an offense that shattered records with Sam Bradford at quarterback. Gresham finished his collegiate career with 111 receptions, 1,629 yards and 26 touchdowns. He caught 14 touchdowns as a junior in 2008, when OU made a national-title game appearance. Gresham returned for his senior season, but he missed it entirely with a knee injury. Despite that, the Cincinnati Bengals picked him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
2. Trent Smith (1999-2002): Smith, a former Clinton High standout, caught 164 passes for 1,525 yards and 16 touchdowns during his OU career. His best statistical season was as a junior in 2001, when he recorded 603 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
3. Joe Jon Finley (2004-07): Finley caught 62 passes for 775 yards and 10 touchdowns over his four-year collegiate career, improving his overall production level each season. As a senior, he caught four touchdown passes. Finley is now an offensive quality control coach with the Sooners.
4. James Hanna (2008-11): Hanna did most of his damage his last two seasons, when he caught 45 passes for 673 yards and nine touchdowns. He was involved in one of the most memorable plays in recent Bedlam history. As junior in 2010, with the Sooners clinging to a 2-point lead and 2:44 left in the game, Hanna got behind the OSU defense, caught a pass from Landry Jones and sprinted the rest of the 76 yards for what became a game-clinching touchdown. Hanna is entering his third season with the Dallas Cowboys.
5. James “Bubba” Moses (2002-05): Moses caught 31 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns during his time at OU. His first two touchdowns were short-yardage plays near the goalline his junior season, and he caught a 26-yard score from Rhett Bomar in the Sooners’ 42-14 rout of Oklahoma State his senior year in 2005.