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

by Jason Kersey Modified: April 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013
Oklahoma tight end Brannon Green celebrates after catching a touchdown pass in the 2012 season opener at UTEP. PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN
Oklahoma tight end Brannon Green celebrates after catching a touchdown pass in the 2012 season opener at UTEP. PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s tight ends didn’t play much last season, especially after Taylor McNamara’s early-season injury.

New tight ends coach Jay Boulware said he’s aware of the position’s history at Oklahoma, and vowed to help it become relevant again.

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

TIGHT END
No.; Name; Cl.; Ht.; Wt.
82; Brannon Green; Sr.; 6-2; 250
88; Taylor McNamara; RFr.; 6-5; 238
81; Sam Grant; RFr.; 6-7; 250
89; Connor Knight; RFr.; 6-4; 227

Tight ends analysis: Oklahoma’s once-proud tight end position took a big hit last season. After the 2011 season, James Hanna and Trent Ratterree graduated and Austin Haywood — a promising young talent — quit the team, leaving OU with zero returning experience at tight end entering 2012.

Junior-college transfer Brannon Green caught a touchdown pass in the season opener at UTEP, but didn’t play much throughout the rest of the season. McNamara suffered a season ending injury early and received a medical redshirt.

Geneo Grissom, who came to OU a defensive end, began the season as the projected starting tight end, but the position change didn’t work out and he switched back to defense.

The Sooners’ depth at wide receiver — bolstered by transfers Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders — helped make it easier to play without tight ends, but OU hopes to use them more in 2013.

“I love those kids,” Boulware said. “I think we have a phenomenal room. Those kids work hard. They’ll do anything you ask them to do. You know, they’re getting better. They’re both getting better at what we’re trying to get accomplished with them.

“We have an outstanding room, a tight end room. The rep number might not have been there the past season, the work attitude and work ethic is still in the room. You can tell that this is the place where greatness has been before.”

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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