Oklahoma football: Ryan Aber ranks Sooners' offensive line as team's best unit

by Ryan Aber Published: August 19, 2013


photo - The OU team gathers before the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Oklahoma lost 30-13. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
The OU team gathers before the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Oklahoma lost 30-13. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Here is OU beat writer Ryan Aber's ranking of the Sooners' position groups:

1. Offensive line

Gabe Ikard is a preseason All-American at center and could move over if needed after Ty Darlington showed well in two starts there last season. Bronson Irwin, Adam Shead, Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams make for a solid group, and junior college additions Dionte Savage and Tony Feo could push for playing time.

2. Offensive backfield

Make this just about running backs and the unit would probably be No. 1. Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch have all shown potential to be No. 1 guys while Trey Millard at fullback/running back/tight end is one of the most valuable pieces of the Sooners' offense. But the unknown at quarterback — Blake Bell or Trevor Knight — knock this unit down a spot.

3. Wide receivers

The loss of Kenny Stills and Justin Brown will be felt, but the unit is still solid, especially with Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard. Big things were expected last season from Trey Metoyer and the extra year in the system could do him as much good as anyone entering 2013.

4. Linebackers

Could've been a spot lower but it's hard to judge the linebackers on what they did a year ago after the position virtually disappeared as the Sooners struggled to contain the league's most wide-open offenses. Corey Nelson has been one of the talks at camp for his improvement and Frank Shannon was solid last season, especially early.


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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