OU releases first two-deep

Sooners omission rings as loudly as winners of position battles

Oklahoma released its first unofficial depth chart Monday in preparation for Saturday’s season opener against Louisiana Tech.

There were the obvious inclusions: Trevor Knight at quarterback, Charles Tapper and defensive end and Eric Striker at left outside linebacker among others.

The biggest note of the day was an omission. Middle linebacker Frank Shannon, whose playing status and status on the team is still pending, was not included in the two-deep.

Sooners’ coach Bob Stoops declined to comment on Shannon.

“Frank Shannon, at this point, nothing has changed,” Stoops said. “That situation is still unresolved. Therefore, I’ve got to proceed with players who I know will be available to me the rest of the year. At this point, the depth chart is what it is.” K.J Young was listed as the team’s starting slot receiver, edging out freshman Michiah Quick, who will be backing up Sterling Shepard as a the team’s punt returner.

Nila Kasitati and Adam Shead will start at right guard and left guard respectively, and Blake Bell will start at tight end ahead of Taylor McNamara.

The three positions on the offensive line – guards and tight end – will no doubt be a rotating carousel, but Bell earning the nod means he has developed as a tight end after playing quarterback during the previous three seasons of his career.

“He’s really a big target, a comfortable target for Trevor or any quarterback when he’s in the middle of the field or where ever he’s at,” Stoops said. “He’s got great hands.”

Jordan Evans is listed as the team’s left inside linebacker, and freshman Jordan Thomas is set to back up Julian Wilson, who is starting at cornerback for the first time in his career.

“He’s so intelligent,” Stoops said of Wilson. “He was recruited as a corner so he has that type of speed. … He’s used to being out there starting and playing the whole game.”

Stoops said it looked like Wilson has been playing cornerback for five years.

Freshman safety Steven Parker is listed as the back-up at both free and strong safety, although he is splitting the back-up role with Hatari Byrd.

Stoops listed a handful of freshmen that could play immediately included Parker, Quick, Thomas and running back Samaje Perine. The battle of ahead of Perine is still a battle.

Alex Ross and Keith Ford are still close, very close,” Stoops said with Ford's name being listed at the top. “It’s something you’re going to want to see in the early games: Is anybody ahead of the other?”