Only Texas Tech and Houston threw for more yards than Oklahoma in 2008. Chances are we will see more of the same high-flying passing attack from the Sooners in 2009.
Heisman-winning quarterback Sam Bradford spurned millions of NFL dollars to return to Norman. However, three of his top four wide receiver targets have moved on. Who’s left to catch the rock?
Cast of Characters:
Jermaine Gresham (senior)
Ryan Broyles (sophomore)
Dejuan Miller (sophomore)
Jameel Owens (sophomore)
Adron Tennell (senior)
Brandon Caleb (junior)
Mossis Madu (sophomore)
Cameron Kenney (JUCO)
2008 Receiving Statistics (returning players in bold)
WR - Juaquin Iglesias: 74 catches, 1,150 yards, 10 touchdowns
TE - Jermaine Gresham: 66 catches, 950 yards, 14 touchdowns
WR - Manuel Johnson: 42 catches, 714 yards, 9 touchdowns
WR - Ryan Broyles: 46 catches, 687 yards, 6 touchdowns
WR - Quentin Chaney: 29 catches, 504 yards, 2 touchdowns
RB - DeMarco Murray: 31 catches, 395 yards, 4 touchdowns
RB - Chris Brown: 15 catches, 109 yards, 1 touchdown
FB - Matt Clapp: 9 catches, 92 yards, 3 touchdowns
RB/WR - Mossis Madu: 12 catches, 84 yards, 0 touchdowns
WR - Adron Tennell: 9 catches, 68 yards, 0 touchdowns
WR - Brandon Caleb: 4 catches, 52 yards, 0 touchdowns
WR - Jameel Owens: 4 catches, 44 yards, 0 touchdowns
TE - Brody Eldridge: 4 catches, 24 yards, 1 touchdown
WR - Dejuan Miller: 2 catches, 14 yards, 0 touchdowns
What’s the scoop?
The good news for Bradford is that good lookin’ freshman wide receiver Ryan Broyles and All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham are back. The bad news: his other three top receivers are gone (Iglesias, Johnson and Chaney). Let’s put that in perspective for a minute.
OU completed 210 passes to wide receivers in 2008. Only 65 of those receptions return in 2009. That means there are 145 WR receptions out there for the taking.
In this early stage of the game, there are three players we like to fill the void: Jameel Owens, Dejuan Miller and Cameron Kenney.
Unlike returning veterans Adron Tennell and Brandon Caleb, this trio hasn’t had a chance to show their stuff on the big stage. Owens and Miller are still young pups—they will be sophomores next fall. Kenney has yet to step foot on campus, but has been polishing his game at the JUCO level.
Owens and Miller are big targets who could be tough to stop in the red zone. Owens stands 6’3" and checks in around 210 lbs. Miller is taller and lankier—6’6" and 207 lbs. Cameron Kenney was the only wide receiver in OU’s 2009 recruiting haul. He is another good-sized receiver at 6’2" and 195 lbs.
It is worth noting that Coach Stoops plans to put Mossis Madu in the slot this year in an attempt to get him on the field more. Madu is currently buried on the running back depth chart under Murray and Brown. The plan is for him to split his time between RB and WR.
If your fantasy draft was today (03/12/09):
First, the easy choices: Broyles is a Top 10 wide receiver; Greshman is a Top 3 tight end. No doubt about those two.
Is there another Sooner receiver worth drafting?
At this point, it’s really too early to tell. We do expect someone to emerge from the pack and become a decent fantasy option. If your draft was today, you might consider Owens, Miller or Kenney as a late round flier.
Todd DeVries is the founder of CollegeFootballGeek.com, your premier resource for college fantasy football information. Check us out.