The Norman Transcript

Sports

August 24, 2010

Sooner O-line returns healthier, more experienced, focused on consistency

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Offensive line coach James Patton believes the true gauge of an offensive line is measured consistency. In order for this group to be at its best each Saturday, there has to be depth.

“It doesn’t matter about injuries and every season is a different season, and we want to get a little rotation going,” he said. “As a front, you have to be consistent and you have to execute, and that is what we are preaching.”

The Sooners have some experience in the two-deep with junior Jarvis Jones, who started six games last season, working at both guard and tackle and senior Cory Brandon, who started eight at tackle. Senior Tavaris Jeffries started three at guard.

They’re being pushed by a group of freshmen that are currently ahead of them on the depth chart. Redshirt Josh Aladenoye is currently the No. 2 right tackle and the coaching staff sees a big future for him. Gabe Ikard converted from tight end and has moved up the depth chart at right guard.

Senior Brian Lepak, who started last year’s Bedlam game as a walk-on, is Habern’s backup at center.

“There comes a time where a guy gets wore down or a guy doesn’t do something right and you have to put the next guy in,” Patton said. “So finding out the top eight to ten, and maybe 12, is a high number, but we need to find the guys who work well together the best, and that is the main thing.”

Injuries and inconsistency prevented the Sooners from every doing it last season. But this group believes it has learned from last season’s mistakes.

“I feel like everything is cleaner with the whole line across the board,” Habern said. “Everybody has had playing time and we are starting to mesh together and blocking as a unit.”

John Shinn 366-3536 jshinn@normantranscript.com

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