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State of the Sooners: Oklahoma’s receivers entering the 2013 spring game

by Jason Kersey Modified: April 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm •  Published: April 11, 2013
Oklahoma senior receiver Jalen Saunders has experience as both an inside and outside receiver. PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN
Oklahoma senior receiver Jalen Saunders has experience as both an inside and outside receiver. PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN

NORMAN — One of Oklahoma’s more intriguing battles for playing time this spring is within its wide receivers group.

The Sooners lost their top two receivers from last season — Kenny Stills and Justin Brown — but return loads of pass catching talent.

Continuing my unit-by-unit look at the 2013 Sooners, here’s a glance at Oklahoma’s wide receivers entering Saturday’s spring game.

No.; Name; Cl.; Ht.; Wt.
13; Durron Neal; So.; 5-11; 201
16; Jaz Reynolds; Sr.; 6-2; 198
80; Derrick Woods; RFr.; 6-1; 185
No.; Name; Cl.; Ht.; Wt.
18; Jalen Saunders; Sr.; 5-9; 160
3; Sterling Shepard; So.; 5-10; 188
No.; Name; Cl.; Ht.; Wt.
17; Trey Metoyer; So; 6-1; 190
18; Lacoltan Bester; Sr.; 6-3; 205
6; Dannon Cavil; Fr.; 6-5; 205*

Receivers analysis: Jalen Saunders played outside receiver at Fresno State, and said last month that he’d “love” to play there next season.

“Hopefully, but that’s Coach Jay’s decision,” Saunders said of OU assistant Jay Norvell. “We’ll see. … I’ve been working some outside, but not too much like that right now.”

Whether he does or not, Oklahoma has plenty of good depth both at both the inside and outside receiver positions. Sterling Shepard played very well last season as a true freshman, and will only see his playing time increase.

Durron Neal and Trey Metoyer are each expected to make leaps in their sophomore seasons, and could be outside threats. Also, don’t forget senior Lacoltan Bester. The junior-college transfer has impressed coaches this spring.

Bester signed with Oklahoma in May, when the Sooners’ receiver corps looked thin, but the emergence of Saunders and Justin Brown meant a decreased role for Bester.

“Both of those guys came into the fold, both quality college players that had started and really produced,” Norvell said of Brown and Saunders. “That kind of changed Bester’s role or he would have played a lot more. Now with Justin leaving and Kenny leaving, Lacoltan’s really getting a chance and he’s just one of those guys that’s bouncing around every day because it’s like gameday.”

Reynolds spent all of last season suspended, but was OU’s third-leading receiver in 2011, catching 41 passes for 715 yards and five touchdowns.

“It’s day-to day with Jaz,” Norvell said. “He’s had a really good spring and he’s been very accountable.”

Here’s a full schedule for the “State of the Sooners” series:
Monday, 11 a.m.: Special teams
Monday, 2 p.m.: Defensive backs
Tuesday, 11 a.m.: Linebackers
Tuesday, 2 p.m.: Defensive linemen
Wednesday, 11 a.m.: Offensive linemen
Wednesday, 2 p.m.: Tight ends
Thursday, 11 a.m.: Wide receivers
Thursday, 2 p.m.: Running backs
Friday, 11 a.m.: Quarterbacks

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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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