Friday, April 13, 2012
Roundtable: Spring game predictions
By SoonerNation staff
Which Sooners will stand out in Saturday's Red-White spring football game? The SoonerNation staff gives its predictions.
Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson and Demontre Hurst are taking on leadership roles this season.
Offense player of game: Everyone wants to talk about Blake Bell and the Belldozer, but few remember Drew Allen was one of the offense MVPs of the last spring game. With an added year in the offense, count on Allen to shine again and remind everyone why he’ll be a factor in the QB derby of 2013.
Defensive player of the game: In a Red-White windstorm four years ago, Dominique Franks picked off three passes, including one for a touchdown. With the weather expected to be poor again, fellow cornerback Demontre Hurst might be in for a big day, too.
Top newcomer: Uh, is it even debatable? Freshman wideout Trey Metoyer has been the story of the spring. Look for him to make the same splash Kenny Stills did two years ago in the Red-White game.
Most impressive redshirt freshman: Often overlooked because of a stocked backfield that includes Roy Finch, Brennan Clay, Dominique Whaley and junior-college transfer Damien Williams, Danzel Williams has quietly had a strong spring. While he might be a year or two away from regular carries, Williams figures to get plenty of work this Red-White game. Look for him to make the most of it.
-- Jake Trotter
Offensive player of the game: Receiver Kenny Stills has the opportunity to thrust his name amongst college football’s top pass catchers with a strong spring game. His talent is unquestioned and receivers coach Jay Norvell has praised his increased maturity since the Insight Bowl. Saturday is his first chance to show he’s ready to take his game to another level.
Defensive player of the game: Safety Tony Jefferson seems poised to be a leader and difference maker on the Sooners defense. And he should have the opportunity to make plays and show his versatility from his free safety spot on Saturday.
Top newcomer: Receiver Trey Metoyer has to get the nod here. His ball skills, competitiveness and playmaking ability have made him one to watch on Saturday. Wearing No. 17, Metoyer seems to have that “it factor” coaches are constantly searching to find.
Most impressive redshirt freshman: Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips has impressed this spring and should get plenty of chances to impress on Saturday with several of OU’s veteran defensive tackles hampered by injury. Hype and potential are only important when followed by production. Phillips should get his chance on Saturday.
-- Brandon Chatmon
Offense player of game: A man of many nicknames, but one thing you cannot question is how versatile Trey Millard has become for the Sooners. Call him “Slash,” “Fat Daddy,” “Fat Back,” -- it doesn’t matter, just call him valuable.
Defensive player of the game: If any player had any reason to quit, pack up his bags and go home it was safety Javon Harris after last season. Instead, Harris has found a new life with Mike Stoops and that continues with a solid outing Saturday.
Top newcomer: No doubt Trey Metoyer will be the talk of the town, but look out for tight end Brannon “Moose” Green. The position is up for grabs, but it definitely looks like Green has the edge at this point.
Most impressive redshirt freshman: Going to go with linebacker Frank Shannon. He has had a solid spring and seems to gel with Coach Tim Kish.
-- Bob Przybylo
Offensive player of the game: I think Saturday's game could cater to the receivers as both Drew Allen and Blake Bell continue their battle for the backup quarterback job. I could see freshman wideout Trey Metoyer having a huge day and playing a ton of snaps in his debut game with the Sooners.
Defensive player of the game: Look for linebacker Corey Nelson, one of the most underrated players on the team, to have a dominant spring game as he fills Travis Lewis' void. Nelson played out of position at times last season, but should fit right in at weakside linebacker.
Top newcomer: Metoyer is the most logical choice, as I mentioned above. But what about one of the new tight ends, Brannon Green or Taylor McNamara? With a strong spring game, both could stabilize the position in the fans' eyes.
Most impressive redshirt freshman: Running back Danzel Williams will likely get a lot of work in with the Sooners' severe lack of spring depth. After not practicing for most of 2011, Williams could have a lot of carries and impress the Sooner faithful.