Wee one of the 2022 college football season has arrived, and the Oklahoma Sooners have released their first depth chart ahead of their opener against the UTEP Miners.
One of the goals of Brent Venables’ first offseasons with the Oklahoma Sooners was to create competition on the depth chart. Though several spots were solidified heading into fall camp, we still didn’t have an answer at right tackle, one of the wide receiver spots, defensive end, or at linebacker.
Now with the depth chart released, we get a glimpse at how the coaching staff sees the roster as they prepare for the first game of the Brent Venables era.
Several spots indicate an ongoing competition or those players will rotate at those positions with an “OR” designation. In Brent Venables’ defense, instead of deploying a “slot” or “nickel” cornerback, he utilizes the “Cheetah” position, a hybrid between a safety and a linebacker. Someone who can cover and provide support in the running game.
With that, let’s take a look at the first Oklahoma Sooners depth chart heading into week one vs. the UTEP Miners.
April 23, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) throws a pass during the spring game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
8. Dillon Gabriel
11. Davis Beville
14. General Booty OR
There was no mincing of words when the Sooners coaching staff was asked about the quarterback position early in the spring. Dillon Gabriel was brought in to be the starter for the Sooners.
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Eric Gray (0) eludes Oregon Ducks safety Jordan Happle (32) to score a touchdown in the second half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
0. Eric Gray
24. Marcus Major
29. Tawee Walker OR
It’s time for the Eric Gray show. After a solid start to the 2021 season, Gray went underutilized in the second half of the season by the previous coaching staff. With Cale Gundy calling the plays for the Alamo Bowl, Gray got a shot to show the new coaching staff what he could do to the tune of eight carries for 82 yards and five receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Marcus Major will get a ton of work too in Jeff Lebby’s high-octane offense. After a great offseason for Major, he’ll be called upon to punish teams in the second half as the Sooners look to close out games.
April 23, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) celebrates quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) after scoring a touchdown during the spring game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
10. Theo Wease (Outside)
1. Jayden Gibson
81. Trevon West
17. Marvin Mims (Slot)
12. Drake Stoops
6. LV Bunkley-Shelton
3. Jalil Farooq (Outside)
13. J.J. Hester OR
Perhaps a bit surprising is that the Oklahoma Sooners are leaving Marvin Mims in the slot again in 2022. He’s a dynamic player that can be effective anywhere, but his speed could be better utilized on the outside. Perhaps the Sooners really felt good about Jalil Farooq on the outside and wanted to make sure they got him on the field.
Nov. 27, 2021; Stillwater; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Brayden Willis (9) catches a pass for a touchdown against Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse (24) during the first half at Boone Pickens Stadium. Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
9. Brayden Willis
22. Daniel Parker Jr.
18. Kaden Helms
87. Jason Llewellyn
Brayden Willis is one of the players expected to have a breakout season in 2022. He’s earned the opportunity to play a ton for the Sooners with his ability to make a difference as both a blocker and a receiver.
Oct. 16, 2021; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Anton Harrison (71) in action during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
71. Anton Harrison
60. Tyler Guyton
55. Aaryn Parks
Big things are expected out of Anton Harrison entering year three. In what could be his final season with the Sooners, Harrison’s received some early top 50 buzz from draft analysts ahead of the 2023 NFL draft.
OU offensive lineman McKade Mettauer (72) and the rest of the Sooners break from a huddle during practice on March 24 in Norman. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
72. McKade Mettauer
59. Savion Byrd OR
Early in the offseason it was expected that Cal transfer McKade Mettauer would be a starter on the Oklahoma Sooners offensive line. His more than 1,700 snaps of college football provide a boost to an OU line replacing two starters from 2021.
OU offensive lineman Andrew Raym (73) warms up before facing West Virginia on Sept. 25 in Norman. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
73. Andrew Raym
66. Robert Congel
69. Nate Anderson
Despite missing part of spring ball with an injury, Andrew Raym earns the starting job once again. His experience and leadership will be key for Oklahoma’s offensive line.
Nov 27, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Chris Murray (56) during the first quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State Cowboys won 37-33. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
56. Chris Murray
79. Jake Taylor
74. Marcus Alexander
The only surprise here is that Jake Taylor is listed at guard for Oklahoma after coming to the Sooners as a tackle. As Chris Murray approaches his final year in Norman, Taylor has a chance to assert himself as the future at right guard.
BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN
64. Wanya Morris
76. Jacob Sexton
The lone position battle to start on the offensive line goes to Wanya Morris. It’s interesting, though, that Tyler Guyton was listed on the left side and that Jacob Sexton is the only backup listed at right tackle. Perhaps a sign of what’s to come in the future?
Oct. 16, 2021; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners defensive end Reggie Grimes (14) in action during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
14. Reggie Grimes
33. Marcus Stripling OR
40. Ethan Downs
8. Jonah Laulu OR
It was always going to be some combination of Reggie Grimes, Ethan Downs, and Marcus Stripling starting at defensive end for the Oklahoma Sooners. All three have the ability to approach double-digit sacks for the Sooners, but Ethan Downs and Reggie Grimes will get the first shot to start against UTEP.
(Credit: OU Athletics)
88. Jordan Kelley OR
90. Josh Ellison
56. Gracen Halton
It was assumed that Jalen Redmond would be the starter at defensive tackle, but Jordan Kelley’s said, “not so fast.” Kelley, a redshirt senior has had a fantastic offseason and has the strength to be disruptive on the inside. The defensive tackle spot will start as a rotation to keep each guy fresh, allowing them to be at max efficiency for each snap.
Oklahoma’s Isaiah Coe (94) celebrates after a play during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Western Carolina Catamounts at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
77. Jeffery Johnson OR
44. Kelvin Gilliam
56. Gracen Halton
Like defensive tackle, nose tackle will feature a rotation at the top of the depth chart between Isaiah Coe and Tulane transfer Jeffery Johnson. Both guys offer size, strength, and experience to be disruptive in the middle of the Sooners defense.
(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
2. David Ugwoegbu
41. Jake McCoy OR
Locked into a position battle all offseason, David Ugwoegbu reshaped his body to play linebacker and added speed. His length and athleticism will be a problem for teams attempting to go up the middle on the ground or through the air.
Oklahoma’s Danny Stutsman (28), Isaiah Thomas (95) and Nik Bonitto (11) surround on Texas’ Casey Thompson (11) during the Red River Showdown college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Oklahoma won 55-48. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
28. Danny Stutsman
13. Shane Whitter
Like fellow 2021 signee Ethan Downs, Danny Stutsman’s been a popular breakout candidate for the 2022 season.
Oct 30, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker DaShaun White (23) and defensive back Key Lawrence (12) tackle Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Donovan Smith (7) during the first half at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
23. DaShaun White
37. Justin Harrington
What do you do when you have three talented linebackers, you find a way to get them all on the field at the same time. DaShaun White could play MIKE or WILL for Brent Venables, but his speed and athleticism will allow the Sooners to use him in a versatile defensive role.
Dec 5, 2020; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Baylor Bears wide receiver Tyquan Thornton (9) leaps for but cannot catch a pass as Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Jaden Davis (4) defends during the first half at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
4. Jaden Davis
21. Kendall Dennis
1. Joshua Eaton OR
0. Woodi Washington
9. D.J. Graham
26. Kani Walker
Jaden Davis found new life with Jay Valai, Ted Roof, and Brent Venables, earning another shot to start for Oklahoma after an up-and-down tenure under the previous defensive regime.
Sep 11, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Billy Bowman (5) in action during the game against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
5. Billy Bowman
6. Trey Morrison OR
Billy Bowman earning the start isn’t a surprise. He’s had an excellent offseason by all accounts now that he’s locked into just one position. He’s an athletic player that will make plays on the football.
Nov 27, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Justin Broiles (25) during the third quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State Cowboys won 37-33. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
12. Key Lawrence OR
3. Robert Spears-Jennings OR
Key Lawrence and Justin Broiles provide versatility for the Oklahoma Sooners that could allow either of them to play in the box or as the deep safety. Both guys could line up in the slot as well.
Dec 19, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) scores a touchdown past Iowa State Cyclones defensive back Mason Chambers (33) during the first half at AT&T Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
5. Billy Bowman OR
17. Marvin Mims OR
Looks like the Oklahoma Sooners are going to put their best skill talent in a position to make plays with the football. Nothing is defined here, and how they deploy each guy could be dependent on the situation.
Sep 4, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners punter Michael Turk (37) before the game against the Tulane Green Wave at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
34. Zach Schmit
46. Gavin Marshall
37. Michael Turk
36. Josh Plaster
51. Kasey Kelleher
50. Ben Anderson
37. Michael Turk
36. Josh Plaster
Zach Schmit gets the first opportunity to be the placekicker for the Oklahoma Sooners, replacing Gabe Brkic. In 2021, he was perfect on four point-after attempts and his lone field goal attempt as a freshman.
Michael Turk has become a weapon for the Oklahoma Sooners, averaging more than 50 yards per punt in 2021.
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