Longhorns Wire dissects the Oklahoma Sooners depth chart

In case you missed it, the Texas Longhorns defeated the Oklahoma Sooners last season, 49-0. It was the Sooners’ most lopsided loss in its rivalry against the Longhorns and the first shutout they had suffered in the game since 1965.

Some scoffed at the notion that the Sooners would fall off following the departure of former head coach Lincoln Riley to USC. The game put into perspective just how far the program had fallen. This offseason, Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables transformed the roster through the transfer portal and in recruiting.

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Our Sooners Wire colleague John Williams shared a predicted spring two-deep depth chart for the team to give insight into what Oklahoma could look like this season. Although the team improved in more than one area, Texas has a good opportunity to start a winning streak over Oklahoma in the series.

Let’s analyze what the Sooners bring back this season.



Projected starter: Dillon Gabriel

Anticipated backup: Jackson Arnold

Impression of the position: Dillon Gabriel is a reliable quarterback. He’s nothing like some of the better quarterbacks Oklahoma had prior, but he can get the job done. Jackson Arnold is probably a year away from being an effective starter at the college level.


Running back


Projected starter: Javontae Barnes

Anticipated backups: Gavin Sawchuck, Marcus Major, Emeka Megwa

Impression of the position: Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski probably won’t lose sleep over any of these backs. Nevertheless, Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and his unit should produce wide lanes for running backs to run through.

Wide Receiver

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Projected starters: Jalil Farooq, Andrel Anthony, Drake Stoops

Anticipated backups: LV Bunkley-Shelton, Jayden Gibson, Gavin Freeman

Impression of the position: The loss of Marvin Mims could really hurt the team in 2023. Elite speedster Jalil Farooq should be a matchup problem for defenses. After Farooq, there’s not much to write home about in the receiver room. Michigan transfer Andrel Anthony is a wild card after an explosive first season in 2021. Anthony caught 12 passes for 248 yards that season. He had 7 receptions for 80 yards in 2022.


Tight end

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Projected starter: Austin Stogner

Anticipated backups: Blake Smith, Jason Llewellyn, Kaden Helms

Impression of the position: Austin Stogner is a potential Mackey Award winner, an honor given to the nation’s top tight end. He should complement Dillon Gabriel’s ability to attack the deep middle. Stogner is probably the receiver defenses will want to game plan against this season.

Offensive line

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Projected starters: Walter Rouse, McKade Mettauer, Andrew Raym, Caleb Shaffer, Tyler Guyton

Notable backups: Jacob Sexton, Savion Byrd, Nate Anderson, Jake Taylor, Aaryn Parks, Cayden Green


Impression of the position: Although Bill Bedenbaugh should coach the best out of the unit, there are more than a few questions about this group. While you can expect nice running lanes, the group could have difficulty holding up in pass protection with tackles Anton Harrison and Wanya Morris departing.

Right defensive end

Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune-USA TODAY Sports

Projected starter: Ethan Downs

Anticipated backup: R Mason Thomas

Impression of the position: Trace Ford is an excellent player, but none of the defensive linemen concern me if I’m a Texas offensive coach. Ethan Downs doesn’t look the part based on build or explosion.


Defensive Tackle

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Projected starters: Jordan Kelly, Isaiah Coe

Anticipated backups: Jacob Lacey, Gracen Halton

Impression of the position: Nobody really jumps off the page like past Sooners interior linemen.

Left defensive end

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Projected starter: Rondell Bothroyd

Anticipated backup: Reggie Grimes

Impression of the position: Oklahoma could be counting on Wake Forest transfer Rondell Bothroyd to be a transformative force on the defensive line. If he isn’t, Oklahoma State transfer Trace Ford might have to step into that role. The linebacker position is more encouraging for the Sooners.



Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Projected starters: Dasan McCullough, Jaren Kanak, Danny Stutsman

Anticipated backup: Justin Harrison, Jake McCoy, Shane Whitter

Impression of the position: You’re looking at perhaps the best trio of linebackers the conference has to offer. McCullough and Kanak have the talent to match the production in what could be an all-time great Oklahoma linebacking duo. Though Stutsman might need to gain around 20 pounds, he led the conference in tackles last season. Oklahoma needs this group to mask multiple defensive deficiencies.


Ou Vs Texas

Projected starters: Woodi Washington, Jaden Davis


Anticipated backup: Gentry Williams, Kani Walker

Impression of the position: Oklahoma defensive backs got picked on last year. Expect more of the same if opposing offensive lines can prevent pressure. Woodi Washington is a great football player. He’s just not a great cornerback. There isn’t much talent behind him. Behind receivers like Xavier Worthy, AD Mitchell, Isaiah Neyor and Jordan Whittington, Texas should especially capitalize on the lack of playmaking ability.


Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Projected starters: Billy Bowman, Reggie Pearson

Anticipated backup: Key Lawrence, Peyton Bowen

Impression of the position: Safety is an objectively strong position for Oklahoma. Brent Venables might consider employing a three-safety look with Key Lawrence or Peyton Bowen on the field. Struggling Sooners cornerbacks could keep these safeties busy.


2023 Outlook

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There’s too much talent on the roster to expect the team to lose as much as it did last season. That said, there are too many holes to project Oklahoma to return to what it was under Lincoln Riley this year. The softer schedule could help the team to 10 wins, but it wouldn’t necessarily reflect how much work is still to be done in Norman.


Syndication: The Oklahoman

Oklahoma wins 9 games.

The original Oklahoma prediction was 10-2, but a deeper dive into the roster raises more questions. The Sooners should be a solid team with an offensive scheme that should maximize scoring output. Because the team avoids facing Texas Tech and road trips to Kansas State and Baylor, the regular season schedule might not be much tougher than their non-conference slate. Texas, BYU and TCU stand as the most likely losses.


Big 12 prediction

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Third place.

The Sooners are reminiscent of what the Longhorns were last season. The chasm between their weakest and strongest links make for a wide variety of outcomes. Oklahoma should still be one of the better teams in the conference.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire