WR Ryan Broyles
9-3-11 TULSA
9-17-11 at Florida State
9-24-11 MISSOURI
10-1-11 BALL STATE
10-8-11 Texas @Dallas, TX
10-15-11 at Kansas
10-22-11 TEXAS TECH
10-29-11 at Kansas State
11-5-11 TEXAS A&M
11-12-11 IOWA STATE
11-19-11 at Baylor
11-26-11 at Oklahoma State
Coach: Bob Stoops
129-31, 12 years

2010 Statistics

2010 RESULTS: 12-2
at Cincinnati WON 31-29
vs. Texas WON 28-20
at Missouri LOST 27-36
at Texas A&M LOST 19-33
at Baylor WON 53-24
at Oklahoma State WON 47-41
Nebraska WON 23-20
Connecticut WON 48-20

2010 Final Rankings
AP-6, Coaches-6, BCS-7


NationalChamps.net pegged the Sooners as the team to beat in 2011 way back in mid-December with the release of our 2011 Early Bird Preview. Since that time several other early polls have followed suit with the same claim. Since the conclusion of their Fiesta Bowl drubbing of UConn, the Sooners have been making headlines. They have all been of the negative variety however. First, receiver Kenny Stills and linebacker Tony Jefferson were arrested. Then defensive tackle Stacy McGee was arrested. After that, the school reported a series of secondary NCAA violations concerning off-season workouts. The latest has been the academic suspension of starting cornerback Jamell Fleming that may continue into the fall semester. This comes at a position of great need. A few other backups have transferred. Has this changed anything in regards to the polls?

Based on this release, the answer is no. Sure, head coach Bob Stoops has to get his program in order from an off-the-field perspective. The bottom line is that Oklahoma has as much four and five star talent depth as any team in the country. There may be approximately four other teams nationwide that possess this much talent across the board. What ultimately clinches a preseason No. 1 ranking for the Sooners is an offense with loads of skill position athletes…the type of athletes that have already worn out plenty of scoreboard lights. It’s all headed by a quarterback in Landry Jones that could easily wind up being at the front of the Heisman race come December. As one peruses the athletic background of the projected starters on either side of the ball, the inherent truth is that every single position plus the back up sports a former high school king of football tribute. Many years of consistent recruiting from the hot beds of college football has matched quality with quantity.

The only new face on offense will be former OU quarterback (2000 Heisman runner-up) and new offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. His promotion followed the loss of Kevin Wilson who left to become the head coach at Indiana. Heupel already has a solid performance on his resume after producing 524 yards in steamrolling Connecticut at the Fiesta Bowl. If there are to be any qualms about this offense they may reside in the fact OU is extremely pass oriented, at times ignoring the running game (OU threw the ball 50 times in the Fiesta Bowl but rushed 30 times for 95 yards).

Defensively, the Sooners do not possess enough All-Conference type of recognition outside of linebacker Travis Lewis. While the raw talent resume looks great, the what-have-you-proven-on-the-field analysis may not warrant such a lofty preseason ranking. Brent Venables has been calling this defense since 1999. Yes, there have been many times when this defense has underachieved given the star power at his disposal. This group may not wind up near the top of the nation's defensive statistics over the course of 2011, but keep in mind this is still a very young defense. Only four seniors reside on the entire two-deep depth chart.

A case could be made for a handful of other teams to be top ranked No. 1 in this preseason madness. OU is no lock to start here, but a good bet. Oklahoma has never opened the season as the top contender at NationalChamps.net since the website was founded in 1999. This will be a first. Based on the competition, the star power across the board, the offensive production with two Heisman contenders (Broyles and Jones) and the wealth of depth and experience, OU will continue to rank here all the way through the summer months.

Projected 2011 record: 11-1

LB Travis Lewis
2010 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Landry Jones, 405-617-12, 4718 yds., 38 TD

Rushing: Roy Finch, 85 att., 398 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Ryan Broyles, 131 rec., 1622 yds., 14 TD

Scoring: Jimmy Stevens, 19-23 FG, 53-53 PAT, 110 pts.

Punting: Tress Way, 73 punts, 44.0 avg.

Kicking: Jimmy Stevens, 19-23 FG, 53-53 PAT, 110 pts.

Tackles: Travis Lewis, 109 tot., 63 solo

Sacks: Frank Alexander, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Travis Lewis, 3 for 43 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Brennan Clay, 6 ret., 19.8 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Ryan Broyles, 34 ret., 7.9 avg., 0 TD


2011 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: DeMarco Murray-RB, Mossis Madu-RB, Cameron Kenney-WR, Eric Mensik-OT
DEFENSE: Jeremy Beal-DE, Pryce Macon-DT, Adrian Taylor-DT, Quinton Carter-FS, Jonathan Nelson-SS

Landry Jones is no longer living under the microscope of former hurler Sam Bradford, the guy he replaced. The massive numbers and success enjoyed by Jones in this quick-strike, typical Big 12 scoring attack has formed a new identity with Jones at the forefront. Last season he led the conference in passing yards and threw at least nine more TD passes than any other Big 12 signal caller. He set a school record with 405 completions (tops in the NCAA) and was No. 2 in total passing yards nationally. His assault on Bradford’s records is happening much faster than anyone could have believed. The most experience back up is Drew Allen, who saw action in five games last fall. Others in the mix include redshirt frosh Blake Bell, a nationally acclaimed prep star out of Wichita and early enrollee Kendal Thompson who is fresh out of high school. Currently no pecking order exists with the back ups. That race is wide open.

Gone is DeMarco Murray, the school record holder for touchdowns and all-purpose yards. Trying to replace his many talents will be a deep cast of unproven studs. Roy Finch emerged as the main back up last fall. Finch possesses the elusive speed needed for breaking the big play. Brennan Clay also played sparingly as did unproven veteran Jermie Calhoun, who is coming back from injury and doubtful for spring ball. Clay also doubles as a starting kick returner and is sure to garner his share of the snaps. In high school he was the first player in California history to gain 1,000 yards receiving and rushing in the same season. Clay’s all-purpose skills could equal those of the departed Murray before his time is done in Norman. A great deal of speculation is that incoming frosh Brandon Williams could flat out win the starting tailback spot. The nation's No. 3 ranked high school running back by Rivals.com and Scout.com has enrolled in time for spring workouts. Williams has been extremely impressive on campus thus far and could prove to be the nation's top rookie. The hype has already begun. Fullback Trey Millard was selected an All-Big 12 honoree in just his freshman campaign of 2010. He will sit out spring recovering from shoulder surgery but is expected to be ready in the fall.

Before going into detail about why Ryan Broyles can win the Heisman Trophy and why he is a major reason the Sooners are currently the nation's top ranked team, it's extremely important to note the cast surrounding him is second to none. This facet will only increase Broyle's star potential. Last fall young Kenny Stills stepped in and erased Broyle's freshman school records for receptions and receiving yards. Another frosh, speedy Trey Franks, hauled in 29 catches and is poised to snag many more in his second season. These three returning starters at the top of the depth chart are all less than 6'0 tall. When OU wishes to use a size advantage they will turn to the 6'4 Dejuan Miller who had just moved into the starting lineup last fall until a torn meniscus in his knee forced him to miss the final seven games. An extensive abundance of sophomores and redshirt freshmen make this group exceptionally deep. Getting back to Broyles...one of three finalists for the 2010 Biletnikoff Award, he has set OU records for receptions in a game, season and career; yards in a game, season and career and touchdown receptions in a season and career. Yep, pretty much every single major receiving record and he has another season to go. The fact he decided to skip the NFL and return for his final year may have been the one aspect that put the Sooners at the top of these preseason polls. Other talents are available to Coach Stoops, but Broyles takes the icing and the cake.

This bunch had some inconsistency issues last fall in addition to some lacking physical issues. Coaches have been the first to say as much. The good news is that four full-time starters and six with starting experience (81 career starts combined) anchor a group that looks quite different and if anything much more experienced. The only player departing is All-Big 12 selection Eric Mensik at right tackle. Jarvis Jones and Donald Stephenson have split starting assignments at left tackle. Look for Jones to step over to the right side to complete the lineup. The interior of the line from guard to guard is where the major improvements should derive. Ikard, Habern and Evans form a group of young but experienced blockers and the youthful depth behind them should provide for some interesting off-season competition. A cast of three different players will see time in the tight end rotation. BTW, they are all legit. James Hanna and Trent Ratterree shared most of the snaps last season. Ratterree will miss spring practice while returning from a shoulder injury. Look for Austin Haywood, who played extensively on special teams last season to take up more of a role. The in-state product Haywood has the star ability to become the future of this position.


QB Landry Jones


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Landry Jones-Jr (6-4, 230) Drew Allen-So (6-5, 236)
FB Trey Millard-So (6-1, 249) (HB/TE) Marshall Musil-So (6-2, 230)
RB Roy Finch-So (5-8, 173) Brennan Clay-So (5-11, 185)
Brandon Williams-Fr (5-11, 189)
WR Ryan Broyles-Sr (5-11, 187) Joe Powell-So (5-11, 166)
WR Kenny Stills-So (6-0, 181) Dejuan Miller-Sr (6-4, 216)
WR Trey Franks-So (5-10, 184) Sheldon McClain-RFr (6-1, 184)
TE James Hanna-Sr (6-4, 237) Trent Ratterree-Sr (6-3, 248)
OT Donald Stephenson-Sr (6-5, 303) Daryl Williams-RFr (6-4, 304)
OG Gabe Ikard-So (6-2, 290) Stephen Good-Sr (6-4, 293)
C Ben Habern-Jr (6-2, 291) Austin Woods-So (6-4, 305)
OG Tyler Evans-Jr (6-4, 326) Bronson Irwin-So (6-4, 308)
OT Jarvis Jones-Sr (6-6, 308) Josh Aladenoye-So (6-5, 316)
K Jimmy Stevens-Sr (5-5, 172) Patrick O'Hara-Jr (6-0, 192)



Replacing the talents of All-American defensive end Jeremy Beal, who ranked among the schools best in categories like career sacks and tackles for loss, will be no easy task. The opportunity for projected starters Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis to continue their late-season surge of 2010 is upon them. Alexander is the team's returning leader in sack production. Most of that came after he was able to recover from an early season ankle sprain. He recorded three sacks and six tackles-for-loss in the Big 12 Championship Game and Fiesta Bowl. Ronnell Lewis is a linebacker changed hybrid defensive end, a little undersized at 237 lbs but extremely athletic. This off-season will be crucial for guys like R.J. Washington and David King who are competing for time on the outside. Both carry highly rated prep accolades but have been passed by the past two seasons. Tackle is where the Sooners are likely to find their biggest improvements. Coaches have been hard with the criticism on this group in terms of being physical last fall. The phenomenal recruiting classes have been kind this group. Guys like Jamarkus McFarland, Stacy McGee (if he gets back from a marijuana possession charge) and Casey Walker have the ability to dominate. The Sooners will also welcome in another top flight recruiting class that was heavy with defensive linemen.

These linebackers are stacked. Five different players drew starting duty last fall and all five are back including Travis Lewis, the team's leading tackler in each of his first three years of starting. The only NationalChamps.net All-American on the defensive side, Lewis has tied the school record for interceptions by a linebacker too. In the middle is a two-man combination of experience. Tom Wort excelled as a freshman last fall. When Austin Box returned from a preseason back injury he played a major role in the team's strong stretch run. The strong side features another pair who has seen their share of snaps. Tony Jefferson was the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year while Ibiloye is a converted safety. Both can play a nickel role that is ever so important in covering today's spread offenses. This unit has the most talent on the defensive side.

The biggest question in Sooner Country...can this depleted secondary circle the wagons and give their potent offense more time with the ball? Already gone are both starting safeties and now top cornerback Jamell Fleming is out of school for at least the spring and summer due to academic improprieties. The only returning starter is cornerback Demontre Hurst, who excelled last year in his first season as a full-timer. Some shake-ups are bound to occur between now and August. Aaron Colvin has been moved to strong safety. If the experiment works out, at least OU can get it's best five defensive backs on the field at once. Former No. 1 in-state recruit Gabe Lynn is finally getting the chance to show what he can do at corner with the move of Colvin. At free safety, Javon Harris and Sam Proctor are the most familiar names. Both have made strong contributions the past two seasons. Like most positions on this team athletes are available for this secondary. While this will be the unit causing the most concern, if a team is only as good as it's weakest link, the Sooners are still in pretty good shape. But make no mistake; two or three of these depth chart spots are wide open.


DE Frank Alexander


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Ronnell Lewis-Jr (6-2, 237) R.J. Washington-Jr (6-3, 261)
DT Stacy McGee-Jr (6-4, 284) Jamarkus McFarland-Jr (6-1, 294)
DT Casey Walker-Jr (6-1, 308) Daniel Noble-So (6-2, 276)
DE Frank Alexander-Sr (6-3, 259) David King-Jr (6-4, 258)
SLB Tony Jefferson-So (5-10, 199) Joseph Ibiloye-Jr (6-2, 222)
MLB Austin Box-Sr (6-1, 228) Tom Wort-So (6-0, 227)
WLB Travis Lewis-Sr (6-2, 233) Corey Nelson-So (6-0, 208)
CB Demontre Hurst-Jr (5-9, 172) Julian Winters-RFr (5-10, 156)
CB Gabe Lynn-So (6-0, 188) Julian Wilson-RFr (6-2, 182)
SS Aaron Colvin-So (5-11, 175) James Haynes-RFr (6-0, 189)
FS Javon Harris-Jr (5-11, 203) Sam Proctor-Sr (5-11, 226)
P Tress Way-Jr (6-1, 221) ..




While there may be a few experiments with different personnel at the return positions, the jest of the key special team contributors will remain in tact. Kicker Jimmy Stevens has been superb inside the 40-yard mark while going 19-23 on all attempts last fall. Tress Way is one of the best punters in the conference at both distance and placement. OU has ranked among the nation's leaders in both net punting and punt coverage since he took over. Ryan Broyles has been the team's leading punt returner in each of the last three seasons. However, his numbers took a huge dip in 2010 to just a meager 7.9 average with no touchdowns. Look for Broyles to take this up a notch his senior year. There are currently four players on the roster that saw time returning kicks last fall. The top two, Mossis Madu and DeMarco Murray have departed. Those returning four, plus a few others, will be given an opportunity.