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 to start with safety Ahmad Thomas. A common criticism by fans about OU players is their inability to wrap up and tackle properly.
Now there’s not much film to go by, but Thomas has shown he is among the most technically sound tacklers on the team.
A bit player last year, this should be the season for Thomas to break out and become popular among the OU faithful. His versatility led to coaches and players alike giving him praise throughout the spring.
OU’s secondary has a lot of unanswered questions heading into the season, but we know there’s a lot of talent there. Somebody is going to step up, and it feels like Thomas will be one of those guys.
Justin Hite: Defensive end Chuka Ndulue. He’s listed as a defensive tackle right now, but he’s a big candidate to move to defensive end if the Sooners do in fact switch to a three-man front. He’s the right size and his strength in holding the edge would be big to free up space for his linebacker to make moves, although he prefers to play defensive tackle.
He has just fewer than 90 tackles and 7.5 sacks the past two years. Those are great numbers for a defensive tackle.
The redshirt senior is the leader of the defensive front, a unit that will be the most important and probably most dominant group for the Sooners this season.
He’s the most versatile of the front group.
On a side note, he’s a really talented soccer player, and for not playing football until his junior year in high school, he’s pretty good. Definitely a world-class guy, except that he’s a Brazil soccer fan.