The SoonerNation staff is wrapping up Oklahoma's 10-3 season by answering 10 questions, just like we did during the Sooners' bye week in November. Today:
Which Oklahoma player will have a breakout season in 2012?
In just a few appearances, Shead made a huge impact on the OU run game and was instrumental in paving lanes for the Belldozer package, before missing the latter part of the season with an MCL sprain. Next season, the Sooners might have to slide veteran Gabe Ikard from to right guard and use three-year starter Tyler Evans as a reserve to make room for Shead at left guard. But that’s how special Shead appears to be. He has the potential to become next All-American on the offensive line.
- Jake Trotter
OU needs a young defensive tackle to step up and Phillips could be the guy. All-Big 12 first team offensive lineman Gabe Ikard had great things to say about the redshirting freshman’s play on the scout team.
“He’s going to be the next Gerald [McCoy],” Ikard said while noting it’s probably not fair to put those expectations on a redshirting freshman to an top-five NFL draft pick. “He’s got all-american talent.”
- Brandon Chatmon
LB Kellen Jones
Jones, who didn’t even get to OU until August, has the look of being another big-time linebacker for the Sooners. He had 10 tackles in 12 games and just felt like he was getting more comfortable with each snap he was out there. At 6-foot-1 and 223 pounds, it will be interesting to see what a full year of conditioning is going to do for Jones.
- Bob Przybylo
LB Tom Wort
Can an established starter -- one without a position coach -- be a breakout player? I think so. Wort struggled with injuries in 2011, but was Oklahoma's best linebacker when healthy and could be an all-conference performer next season. He was often swallowed up by offensive lineman when OU played the 3-4 defense, but he should benefit from Mike Stoops' base 4-3 next season and better defensive tackle play. Now that Travis Lewis has graduated, Wort will be the voice of the defense and, if healthy, a star.
- Dane Beavers
What do you think? Which Sooner will have a breakout season in 2012?