June 19, 2007

Sooners look to key redshirts in 2007

The road to stardom isn't automatic for every highly recruited high school prospect. Some players like Adrian Peterson see instant success on the college level. But just because players don't always make that immediate impact, that doesn't mean those players are busts after only a year on campus.

The Sooners are looking at several redshirt freshman capable of making big impacts in 2007 as fall camp is just over a month away. SoonerScoop.com Editor Carey Murdock takes a look at the top five redshirt breakthrough candidates heading into next season.

5. Dominique Franks - Franks was one of the biggest surprises of the offseason as he proved during the spring that he can excel as a free safety and a cornerback for Bobby Jack Wright in the defensive secondary.

Franks was so impressive he was running with the first team at free safety when Oklahoma went to their nickel formation. It's not out of the question to think that Franks could end up starting at free safety at some point in the season should Darien Williams miss any action due to injury.

He could also have a future as a punt returner as a backup to Reggie Smith. He isn't completely in the mix right now, but his high school highlight tape was full of big plays on special teams.

4. Auston English - English is kind of a trick pick on this list. He is the only sophomore on this list, but he is coming off of a redshirt season. English sat out last season after playing sparingly as a true freshman because of no depth at the defensive end position.

It's not out of the question to say English might be the Sooners best defensive end on the OU roster if he continues to progress as much as he has over the last year. English is explosive off the edge, but he is also the most consistent performer for Chris Wilson.

English will certainly be a major part of the starting rotation to start the 2007 season and that's the main reason he makes this list.

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