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State of the Sooners: Oklahoma's offensive line entering the 2014 spring game

by Ryan Aber Modified: April 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm •  Published: April 10, 2014

Offensive lineman Ty Darlington participates in Sooner spring football drills at University of Oklahoma (OU) on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Offensive lineman Ty Darlington participates in Sooner spring football drills at University of Oklahoma (OU) on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Continuing our unit-by-unit look at the 2014 Oklahoma football team, here is a look at the Sooners’ offensive line entering Saturday’s spring game.

LEFT TACKLE
71; Tyrus Thompson; Sr.; 6-5; 320
72; Derek Farniok; Jr.; 6-9; 335
55; Josiah St. John; Sr.; 6-6; 284

LEFT GUARD
77; Dionte Savage; Sr; 6-4; 339
74; Adam Shead; Sr.; 6-4; 318

CENTER
56; Ty Darlington; Jr.; 6-2; 298
54; Nila Kasitati; Jr.; 6-4; 319
XX; Alex Dalton, Fr., 6-4, 280

RIGHT GUARD
54; Nila Kasitati; Jr.; 6-4; 319
53; Tony Feo; Sr.; 6-3; 295
75; Tyler Evans; Sr.; 6-5; 331

RIGHT TACKLE
79; Daryl Williams; Sr.; 6-6; 332
70; Christian Daimler; RFr.; 6-7, 279

OFFENSIVE LINE ANALYSIS: The unit that is cobbled together Saturday will be much different than the one that starts Aug. 30 against Louisiana Tech, at least the coaches hope.

Shead and Thompson, two starters last year until each got hurt, will miss Saturday’s game and have not participated in spring practices. Thompson has a foot injury and Shead has an injured back that kept him out of the last two regular-season games last year as well as the bowl game.

Both were solid when healthy and Thompson’s injury isn’t likely to affect him much, though he’s still wearing a boot on his foot.

Shead’s problems could linger though and after the performance by Savage in the Sugar Bowl, it seems likely there will be significant playing time for Savage.

Also out Saturday will be Kasitati, who started most of last season and rotated with Bronson Irwin at the guard spot. Kasitati could also be used as backup to Darlington at center if needed.

Darlington got a start at the position as a freshman when Gabe Ikard was hurt but didn’t play center at all last year. A few special teams plays, though, cost him a chance at a redshirt season so he’s a junior. Dalton will arrive this summer to give the Sooners a bit of depth there.

Farniok was good at times filling in for Thompson last season and he’s likely to see the majority of the snaps Saturday on that side. During the season, he could be the backup on the other side as well with Daimler still lacking experience.

Evans hasn’t played for two seasons but started 29 games at right guard his first three seasons. If he’s healthy, he’ll be a factor but that’s a big if coming off knee problems.

St. John has received plenty of praise from coaches for his work this spring and is likely to see plenty of action Saturday. With as many injuries as the line has suffered recently, it seems likely he’ll be needed along the way.

With Ikard and Irwin gone, the unit is in need of a new leader. That appears to be Williams, who isn’t as gregarious as Ikard but has grown into the role over the spring.

 

Here’s a full schedule for the “State of the Sooners” series:
Wednesday, 9 a.m..: Special teams
Wednesday, noon.: Defensive backs
Wednesday, 3 p.m.: Linebackers
Thursday, 9 a.m.: Defensive linemen
Thursday, noon: Offensive linemen
Thursday, 3 p.m.: Tight ends
Friday, 9 a.m.: Wide receivers
Friday, noon: Running backs
Friday, 3 p.m.: Quarterbacks

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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