OU football: Sooners should be stout in 2014, but there are a few question marks

Coaches will watch how competition develops at defensive back, wide receiver and running back
by Jason Kersey Published: January 12, 2014


photo - OU's Keith Ford (21) runs through the Texas defense during the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
OU's Keith Ford (21) runs through the Texas defense during the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Oklahoma's 2014 season opener against Louisiana Tech is seven months away, but after the Sooners' 45-31 upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, next year could easily become the most anticipated OU football season in a long time.

Of course, every season presents challenges as key contributors graduate, leaving Oklahoma with a few question marks entering 2014 spring practices.

Here is a look at three position groups that must replace a significant amount of lost experience in 2014.

DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD

Who's gone: Aaron Colvin*; Kass Everett; Gabe Lynn*

Who's back: Dakota Austin (So.); Hatari Byrd (So.); Quentin Hayes (Sr.)*; Cortez Johnson (Jr.)*; L.J. Moore (RFr.); Zack Sanchez (So.)*; Stanvon Taylor (So.)*; Ahmad Thomas (So.); Julian Wilson (Sr.)*

Who's new: Marcus Green; Vontre McQuinnie; Tito Windham

Analysis: Colvin leaves a giant void on one side of the field. The two-time All-Big 12 cornerback will likely be replaced by Taylor, Austin or Johnson. … Byrd seems like the likely candidate to replace Lynn at free safety. … Hayes (SS), Sanchez (CB) and Wilson (NB) all return after starting the entire season.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Who's gone: Lacoltan Bester*; Jaz Reynolds*; Jalen Saunders*

Who's back: Austin Bennett (So.); Dannon Cavil (RFr.); Trey Franks (Sr.)*; Durron Neal (Jr.)*; Sterling Shepard (Jr.)*; Jordan Smallwood (RFr.); Derrick Woods (So.); K.J. Young (RFr.)


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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