Football season is almost here for Oklahoma. And SoonersIlustrated.com is eager to get you ready for what could be a memorable 2014 season.
During the next two weeks, Bob Przybylo and Justin Hite are going to reveal their top 11 players on offense and defense and how those players will impact what happens on the field this fall. Let the countdown and debates begin.
Bob Przybylo: Going with somebody who has never taken a snap at OU or worn the uniform with freshman running back Joe Mixon.
Once upon a time was reluctant to believe 18-year-old kids can come in and make a difference. Newsflash – they can, and Mixon is absolutely one of those guys.
Can’t coddle a five-star recruit. He knows what’s expected of him, and he has to deliver. The summer workouts have been encouraging for his progress, and there’s no doubt Alex Ross and Keith Ford hear Mixon coming on their tail.
Mixon isn’t going to have a freshman impact like the legendary freshman season of Adrian Peterson, but he’s going to make some plays because of his versatility. Think DeMarco Murray more than Peterson, and Mixon should fit in fine.
As long as he adapts to the speed of the game, which is always an issue for incoming freshmen, he’ll find the field and let people know he is worth the hype.
Justin Hite: Quarterback Cody Thomas. This pick might sound weird, but one key injury and Thomas would need to be even higher on this list. In an ideal world for any Sooners far, Thomas would never play.
Instead, starting quarterback Trevor Knight wouldn’t miss a snap, and he’d be great in every game
But we do not live in an ideal world. Bad things happen, and Thomas could be called on to save the Sooners in a game or in the season should Knight go down for an extended period of time. Thomas has never attempted a live game past, but he’ll have to attempt one this year.
Thomas also plays baseball for the Sooners, and with a 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, he provides a unique dual threat capability.
Although his biggest aid to the Sooners this year might be sitting on the bench and learning the ropes.
That’s what Sooners’ fans want.