- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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During the summer, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on the Oklahoma Sooners' roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall, and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.
No 77 Dionte Savage, guard, 6-foot-4, 343 pounds, senior
Impact thus far: After a relatively slow start to his first season in crimson and cream, Savage really came on down the stretch and forced his way into the lineup, starting the Allstate Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. He played in 12 of 13 games as a junior college transfer.
Impact in 2014: Savage will compete to start and it would be a major surprise if he is not a key contributor. He’s one of the reasons the Sooners should feel really good about the overall talent and depth along the offensive line despite the loss of two starters off last year’s offensive front.
Long-term upside: If he continues the progress, he showed as a junior it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Savage fight his way into the conversation for all-conference honors.
Evaluation grade for Savage: B. Savage appears to be a solid evaluation heading into his junior year. The depth at the guard position kept him off the field initially, not an inability to contribute.
Development grade for Savage: A. Not more could be expected from the Sooners development plan for Savage. They had veterans at the position with Bronson Irwin, Adam Shead and Nila Kasitati at the start of 2013. As injuries hit and Savage got more comfortable, they found a way to get him on the field against Alabama, shifting Irwin to tackle in a effort to get their top five available linemen on the field.