The depth the Sooners have on the offensive line improves the chances it will happen. Ikard joins Shead, right guard Bronson Irwin and right tackle Daryl Williams as starters back from last season. Tyrus Thompson jumps in for first-round pick Lane Johnson, but made several starts last season.
However, having five experienced players isn’t depth. The Sooners added junior college transfers Dionte Savage, Josiah St. John and Tony Feo and Nila Kasitati, who missed most of last season with a knee injury. All are pushing starters for playing time.
The addition of offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh was made to develop a stronger, deeper group.
“This year, I feel like we’ve gotten a lot stronger, more fundamentally sound with coach Bedenbaugh helping us out with the plays and everything, breaking it down. But I think we’re looking pretty strong,” Kasitati said. “From the left tackle to the right tackle, I think everybody’s looking pretty good.”
Judgment will be reserved until the Sooners actually play some games. But there’s no trepidation in terms of how this offensive line feels going into the season.
All the hobbling that went on last season has been replaced by a fresh energetic feeling as the season approaches.
“We’re all excited about it. Just to put what we’ve been working on, on the field. We’re super excited about it and we just know it’s going to be a different year just because he’s come in and really instilled physicalness in our lineman,” Shead said.
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