Sterling Shepard is back and Dorial Green-Beckham is at the top of the list of questions when it comes to who will stand out this season at receiver.
Shepard is a sure thing and he’ll be the No. 1 target for Trevor Knight, but past that, there is very little experience returning. Meanwhile, the Sooners are still waiting on Green-Beckham’s eligibility. The transfer from Missouri still could get to play this year, although chances are slim.
That leaves a lot of issues at receiver.
Over the past week, we’ve talked about offense, defense and running backs. Today, we’ll look at four receivers , in addition to Shepard, who could be in line for a big season.
Durron Neal, Jr.
Shepard had 51 catches last year. He is the leading returning receiver. Next up is Neal. Neal had all of 13 catches in 2013.
Frankly, pretty much all the receivers behind Shepard are in the same position - unproven - which leaves the situation open to anyone who can contribute.
This is the season for Neal, too. He’s been on campus two seasons and has just 18 catches and no touchdowns. Neal could be the next, big thing at OU, but could also be dealing with more pressure than the rest of the receivers. He’s been expected to contribute and hasn’t done too much yet.
Jordan Smallwood, Fr.
At 6-2, 212 pounds, Smallwood has a frame that makes him a suitable receiver and despite not having the same body type as Jalen Saunders, Smallwood could become the team’s best possession receive. He doesn’t have great speed but had a good spring (three catches and a touchdown in the Spring Game) and is now nine months removed from a fractured foot.
Michiah Quick, Fr.
Aside from Joe Mixon, the signing of Quick might have been the best get for the Sooners in February. He was ranked as the No. 4 athlete in the nation by Rivals and with Saunders gone, OU will need some help on the kickoff and punt return games. Quick could be that guy. Look for Quick to play out of the slot position behind Shepard.
Derrick Woods, So.
Woods caught just two passes last season, but one of them was for 20 yards against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl which, at the very least, gives Woods a degree of confidence heading into this season.
Unlike the other receivers like Smallwood, Quick, Neal and Shepard, Woods will be the team’s best bet as a deep threat.