The Oklahoma Sooners will come into the 2011 season with one thing on their mind: winning the program's eighth national championship. In order to do that, head coach Bob Stoops will have to replace some players at key positions on both sides of the ball.
The Sooners will be bringing back 17 starters, but the five that they are losing will be hard to replace. On the offensive side, Oklahoma loses their all-time leader in touchdowns in DeMarco Murray and offensive tackle Eric Mensik. On defense, end Jeremy Beal is gone as well as safeties Jonathan Nelson and All-American Quinton Carter.
Not all of these question marks will be replaced through this season's recruiting class. In fact, there are very few positions where freshmen will be called upon immediately to fill a need. However, that is not to say that the incoming freshmen cannot make a big impact when they step on campus.
Here are the biggest areas where the Sooners need players to step up and fill the shoes of those that have gone before them.