How does wide receiver Javian Hester fit with the Oklahoma Sooners?

·2 min read

A couple of days after landing their presumptive backup quarterback via the transfer portal, the Oklahoma Sooners returned to the transfer portal. This time, the Sooners will be welcoming a new receiver into the mix.

Javian “J.J” Hester committed to Oklahoma on Wednesday evening.

He redshirted in 2020 and then played in seven games in 2021, totaling 12 receptions, 225 yards, and two touchdowns. Hester is no stranger to the Sooner state. He is a native of Oklahoma, growing up in Tulsa, where he attended Booker T. Washington High School before going to Missouri.

Hester’s commitment may not shake up any projections about the depth chart, but make no mistake, this is no commitment to scoff at.

He stands a 6-foot-3 and has speed. He fits the physical mold of Jeff Lebby’s receivers perfectly. The place where Hester can carve out a space and niche next year is in the slot. Yes, the Sooners have options in the slot in Marvin Mims and Drake Stoops, but Hester is no slouch there and is quite comfortable operating as a “big slot.” In 2021, he lined up in the slot on 70% of his snaps for Missouri.

The Big 12 has a lot of smaller nickel corners for the typically smaller slot receiver builds that dominate inside. Hester’s size against some of those smaller defenders could present another headache for defenses to account for when preparing for Oklahoma in the fall.

Do you match Hester with a more undersized cornerback with better coverage skills? Or do you play a bigger safety that may not be as comfortable covering a receiver that big 1-on-1?

Hester comes in as a redshirt sophomore, giving him a few more years as a Sooner, which could be very beneficial, not just for this season but also for the next. Marvin Mims, Drake Stoops, and Theo Wease are likely to bolt the for the NFL Draft. The talent and experience levels drop considerably across the wide receiver position group whenever those three depart. Bringing in the former four-star wide receiver could help mitigate the losses on the depth chart.

With the experienced and talented Hester in the ranks, offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby has another weapon to deploy alongside Marvin Mims, Theo Wease, Jalil Farooq, and Drake Stoops. That depth will provide some problematic questions for opposing defensive coordinators to answer week-to-week in the 2022 season.

List

Oklahoma Sooners 2022 transfer portal tracker

Contact/Follow us @SoonersWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Oklahoma news, notes, and opinions. Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.