Monday, August 6, 2012
Triple option: Where does Brown fit in?
By Jake Trotter
Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.
1. Snagging Penn State wideout Justin Brown was a huge coup for the Sooners. Brown gives OU another big, fast wide receiver capable of stretching defenses. But don't automatically assume that Brown starts for the Sooners. Kenny Stills is a lock to start, and the way Trey Metoyer has performed so far in practice, it's going to be extremely difficult for Brown to beat him out either. Sterling Shepard is a better fit in the slot as a third receiver than Brown, who is an outside wideout. The Sooners could slide Stills to the slot on occasion, and swing Brown in on the outside. But at this point, it's very possible the Sooners start two freshmen -- Metoyer and Shepard -- in the opener against UTEP.
2. Even without Courtney Gardner or Kameel Jackson, the WR corps no longer looks like a thin group. And that's not even including Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders, who is hoping for an NCAA waiver to play right away. The Sooners have four options at the wideout spot in Stills, Metoyer, Brown and LaColtan Bester, whom the coaching staff seems to be rather high on. In the slot, the Sooners have Shepard and could use Stills and scatbacks Roy Finch and Brennan Clay there as well. When (if) they return to the field, Jaz Reynolds will only deepen the wideout spot, and Trey Franks could help solidify the slot. And if Saunders is somehow granted a waiver? Look out.
3. Starting out, the Sooners will use Clay and Finch on kick return, and Stills on punt return. But don't be surprised if a trio of newcomers make their mark in the return game. Bob Stoops singled out Shepard as somebody who could contribute on punt return, and running back Alex Ross is getting looks at kick return. Brown, Penn State's punt returner the last two seasons, could also spark OU's return game.