Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Revolving Door: Oklahoma
By ESPN.com staff
I've done it. You've done it.
"Hey, is that guy still around?"
Even with two fewer teams, it's hard to keep track. Our next series, which we did last year, too, takes a look at two key players for every team in the league that are taking their talents elsewhere, returning to campus, or arriving to try and write a legacy of their own.
So really, this series isn't so much for the fans of the teams in the posts, but more for everyone else. It wouldn't be a bad idea to bookmark this series.
Next up: Oklahoma
Jeremy Beal, DE
Beal will go down as one of the greatest Sooners ever, after notching 28 sacks in his final three seasons and establishing himself as one of the program's great pass rushers. He appeared in 54 games and started 43 in his four-year career, earning All-American honors as a Hendricks Award finalist in 2009. The 6-foot-3, 267-pounder was drafted in the seventh round by the Denver Broncos.
DeMarco Murray, RB
Murray's 13-year Sooner career (we kid, but seriously, he and Beal have been around forever) finished with his name atop the storied Oklahoma record books for the career touchdowns (64) and career all-purpose yardage (6,498 yards). Throughout his career, Murray earned a reputation as an injury-prone back, but the 6-foot-1, 207-pounder played in 50 of 55 games for the Sooners, including 26 of 27 in his final two years on campus, missing only a road win over Kansas with a sprained ankle. Murray was drafted in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys, and looks likely to be replaced by a committee of running backs.
Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles, QB and WR
The past two seasons, this has been one of the best pass-catch combos in college football. Broyles has 220 catches for 2,742 yards in the past two seasons, despite missing two games and nearly all of two others in 2009 with a fractured shoulder blade. In 2010, Jones made big strides as a passer, finding a second target opposite Broyles, Kenny Stills, and a host of other young receivers on the way to 4,718 yards and 38 touchdowns, both significantly more than any other passer in the Big 12.
Travis Lewis, LB
Lewis, like Beal and Broyles, will have four years in the spotlight after next year. Lewis has 360 tackles in three seasons, and enters 2011 as the likely favorite for the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. The 6-foot-2, 233-pounder is one of the league's best run-stopping linebackers and the leader of the Sooners defense. The San Antonio native earned a reputation as one of the league's biggest trash talkers over the past season, but when you back it up on the field like Lewis does, it remains safely on the side of entertainment, rather than annoyance.
Brandon Williams, RB
Williams is likely to be a big part of the running back platoon that replaces Murray. He enrolled early and made an immediate impact, sliding into a rotation along with Roy Finch and Brennan Clay at the top of the depth chart. The 5-foot-11, 189-pounder is a good balance of size and speed and came to Oklahoma as the nation's No. 7 running back.
Trey Metoyer, WR
Metoyer hasn't officially qualified yet, but if he does and makes it to campus this fall, he should give an already solid Oklahoma receiving corps a big boost. The Whitehouse, Texas, native was the nation's No. 8 receiver and at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds, could offer a big-time threat as he matures. Oklahoma already has Broyles and Stills, as well as Trey Franks and Dejuan Miller, but redshirt freshman Justin McCay, last year's top recruit, and Metoyer could make the unit even deeper.
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