OU football: Looking ahead to 2012 season and predicting the depth chart

OKLAHOMA FOOTBALL — The Oklahoman's Travis Haney takes a look at the 2012 depth chart and considers which positions the Sooners need to address most in this year's recruiting class.
BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Published: January 7, 2012
Advertisement
;

With the 2011 season in the rear-view mirror, it's time to look ahead — yes, already — to 2012. Here's a quick look at Oklahoma's depth chart, with a nod toward what the Sooners will be looking to add in the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes.

QUARTERBACK

Starter: Landry Jones

Backups: Drew Allen, Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson

Jones coming back obviously changed the face of this position, and Bell is young enough that OU can be picky in who it targets at the position. It will need at least one in the 2013 class, though. A lot of schools around the country — all of them, basically — would be giddy with excitement to have their program's all-time leading passer back. Allen was a little ahead of Bell last season as the No. 2, even though Bell got more experience via the Belldozer package.

RUNNING BACK

Starter: Roy Finch

Backups: Dominique Whaley, Brennan Clay, Trey Millard, Alex Ross*

We'll list Finch as the starter, while Whaley recovers from ankle surgery. Indications are, though, that Whaley will be ready for the season. With Brandon Williams and others transferring, the coaches let Clay know he'd be needed. Bob Stoops continues to talk about the need to get Millard the ball more. The coaches might like to redshirt Ross, but they might not have that luxury. OU has said it might look JUCO at the position, and it recently offered Illinois prospect David Smith, but it could survive with another back or two in 2013. Losing Williams was certainly a blow for the future; can't overlook that.

WIDE RECEIVER

Starters: Kenny Stills, Jaz Reynolds, Kameel Jackson

Backups: Trey Franks, Trey Metoyer*, Durron Neal* Sterling Shepard*, Derrick Woods*

Very thin here in experience, but the Sooners have signed the position extremely well in the 2012 class — and that's not even considering their continued pursuit of Dorial Green-Beckham. They're still counting on Metoyer, at Hargrave prep in Virginia, to be an immediate contributor. Neal and Woods are top 100-type players. Could Shepard fill the Ryan Broyles-jitterbug void? Basically, Justin McCay and Sheldon McClain's transfers force the newcomers into action sooner. Who's going to emerge? As long as the Mike Leach system lives on, OU will never stop seeking top-flight receivers.

TIGHT END

Starters: TBD

Backups: John-Philip Hughes, Brannon Green**, Taylor McNamara*, Laith Harlow*

Hard to name a starter when the primary guys aren't even on campus. Green has the junior college experience, and McNamara has the higher billing out of high school. Even if these guys pan out, Green's time will soon be up. The staff has to be vigilant to fill the spots left by Austin Haywood and Max Stevenson. James Hanna and Trent Ratterree were gone, anyway. Don't forget Millard here, too, but the more he's in the backfield the better off OU will be.

Continue reading this story on the...