Should OU fans be worried about receivers?

May, 21, 2012
5/21/12
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Every Monday during the summer, the SoonerNation staff answers a roundtable question. Leave a comment or talk about it in our "There's Only One" forum.

Today's question: On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the most worried), how worried should fans be about Oklahoma's receiver position in 2012?

Five. I'm not worried about the talent. I am worried about the inexperience, the uncertainty and potentially the depth. Kenny Stills has the upside of a bona fide No. 1 receiver, but outside of him, nobody else that's unsuspended at the moment really has a firm grasp of the playbook. That's a scary proposition for an offense that leans heavily on the pass. The Sooners are banking on Stills returning to freshman form, and true freshman Trey Metoyer has otherworldly potential. But after that, it's a crapshoot. What will become of Jaz Reynolds or Trey Franks? Can Kameel Jackson be counted on? Will Courtney Gardner make it to campus? Will Durron Neal or Sterling Shepard be ready to play as incoming freshmen? Does LaColtan Bester really fit in anywhere? Among all of OU's receivers, the talent is there. After that, who knows?

- Jake Trotter

[+] EnlargeTrey Metoyer
Mark D. Smith/US PresswireReceiver Trey Metoyer is expected to step in and start for the Sooners as a true freshman.
Four. The Sooners should be worried strictly because of the injury bug. A couple of key injuries and the Sooners offense turns toward the Belldozer permanently. OK, that might be a bit over the top, but you get the point. OU is a balanced offense and you need receivers to throw the ball. The Sooners are looking at going into the season with limited numbers at the position. Yet I'm not going higher than four because I think the overall talent at the position has been upgraded and you can't assume someone will get injured -- OU could be injury-free at the position this fall. If the Sooners are, the position has been upgraded. There's no guarantee that the three suspended receivers would have finished among OU's top three receivers in 2012 even if they were in good standing within the program. The spring's developments have lessened the competition and depth among the receivers but not the talent.

- Brandon Chatmon

Eight, but it feels like it is going up with each passing week. The only reason it isn't higher is because of the experience of quarterback Landry Jones. It's going to be a weird transition for Jones after throwing to a familiar face like Ryan Broyles to now throwing it to guys who have never caught a pass in a college football game. You can't question the hunger of high school signees Shepard, Neal and Derrick Woods, but nobody can answer how they're going to respond when the lights come on. Communication will never be more important than it will be for OU's offense in 2012.

- Bob Przybylo

Six. If Gardner makes it to Oklahoma this summer (it's still up in the air Insider), the Sooners will have added seven scholarship receivers since January. Six of those (Metoyer, Gardner, Bester, Neal, Woods and Shepard) are eligible to play in 2012 with Jalen Saunders using a redshirt year after his transfer from Fresno State. That's a ridiculous amount of turnover for the receiving core and fans should be worried about the incoming wideouts' ability to mesh with Jones and learn the playbook. Though the talent is there, can the Sooners be conference title contenders with that many newcomers at a key position? If Gardner doesn't make it to OU, the number only rises.

- Dane Beavers

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