Here are five storylines to be watching this next month on the offensive side of the ball.
When will the starting quarterback be named?
It was all the talk at Big 12 Media Days when it came to the Sooners and with good reason, too. It has felt like junior Blake Bell has been groomed to be the guy, but OU coach Bob Stoops has been adamant about saying no decision has been made. It’s a three-guy race with Bell, Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson. Knight and Thompson bring a little bit of a different skill set than Bell in terms of their speed. So even if one gets named, it wouldn’t shock anybody at all to see a special package for another one. Will Stoops eliminate the quarterback question nice and early, or will he be patient about the process?
How good can the offensive line be?
The pieces appear to be there. First-year offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh seems like he has brought a new attitude to the club. No matter who gets chosen at quarterback, the offensive line is a stacked group led by seniors Gabe Ikard and Bronson Irwin. In looking at OU’s potential two-deep lineup, Ikard and Irwin are the only seniors. Juniors Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson should anchor the tackles, while junior Adam Shead should be the guy at left tackle.
How big of a role will tight ends play?
We know the answer from last year. It wasn’t much as OU tight ends totaled three catches all season. With Taylor McNamara fully recovered from injury, will he become a name to watch? OU didn’t sign any tight ends in February so it’s all about what’s on campus and that could mean more time at tight end for senior jack-of-all-trades Trey Millard. He spoke in-depth on how he is learning the position more and more at media days last week. What will first-year tight ends coach Jay Boulware bring to the table?
Who will emerge at running back?
Running back felt like an open-and-closed case with Damien Williams being the guy. The offseason might have complicated things with reports of Williams not attending summer workouts. Is that water under the bridge at this point, or could it point to something more? Brennan Clay had a stellar second half of 2012 and started to show the potential that had OU fans so excited when he signed. Roy Finch continues to linger as well. There has never been a doubt about his production on the field. If redshirt freshman Alex Ross can stay healthy, he is another one to watch. And it might be a year too early, but true freshman Keith Ford could be one of those special guys who can make an immediate impact no matter what the depth chart is.
Is this the year for Trey Metoyer?
Metoyer had a brilliant spring last year but things never clicked 100 percent last season. This spring, once again, the reviews have been high for the sophomore. This has to be the year for Metoyer to emerge. If it’s not, when will it be? OU is sitting pretty with Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard, but out of Metoyer, Durron Neal or Lacoltan Bester or Jaz Reynolds, somebody will need to be that third consistent option. The opportunity is there for Metoyer to produce a huge season if he can put it all together.