Tuesday, December 11, 2012
State of the program: Receiver/Tight end
By Brandon Chatmon
After grading the performance of the Sooners pass catchers in 2012, it is the perfect time to take a closer look at the receivers and tight ends on the roster or the commitment list as SoonerNation evaluates the future at the receiver and tight end position for Oklahoma.
Here’s a look at one player who could be next in line to make a major impact, one player to keep an eye on and one current commitment who could be the future at the wide receiver/tight end positions.
Trey Metoyer hit the wall a bit as a freshman, but showed enough to become a player that the Sooners will rely on in 2013.
Next in line:Trey Metoyer. He had an up-and-down freshman season, beginning the season as a starter and seeing his playing time gradually diminish despite the Sooners going to a four-receiver package midway through the season.
None of those developments change Metoyer’s upside and overall talent. His youth showed at various times during his first season but his overall ability is unique and tough to find. With Justin Brown playing his last game as a Sooner in the Cotton Bowl, OU will need Metoyer to become a key part of the offense in 2013.
Keep an eye on:Durron Neal. The true freshman saw very limited snaps during his first season but showed signs of being a playmaker. He finished the season with four catches for 62 yards. Coaches and teammates talked of his competitiveness and ball skills even though he didn’t make a major impact. If Kenny Stills decides to declare early for the NFL draft, the Sooners could turn to Neal to step in. If he returns, Neal should still battle for playing time opposite Stills.
At tight end, keep an eye on McNamara. After being forced to redshirt due to injury, the Sooners are hoping McNamara can become a receiving threat at tight end in 2013.
On the trail: Jordan Smallwood of Jenks (Okla.) brings a ready-made receiver to the Sooners receiving corps. He runs good routes and has good ball skills so it’s possible he could become a quality receiving option as a freshman. He’s not a game-breaker, but he’s the type of receiver that is invaluable and helps teams win games.
At tight end, OU has no committed players.
Summary: The transformation of OU’s receiving corps is a great credit to receivers coach Jay Norvell. Not only did he bring in Brown and Jalen Saunders to field a productive group of receivers this season, Norvell has multiple talented young receivers waiting in the wings who could emerge as impact players in 2013.