May 10, 2007

Tight ends a strength of the OU offense

Will they or won't they? That's become a popular question as the Oklahoma Sooners get set to for another football season in 2007. Will the tight ends become a bigger part of a pass-happy offense at OU? Or will it be another season of lost potential from a position ready to break into the spotlight.

Jermaine Gresham is one of the most physically impressive players to ever put on a uniform in the Bob Stoops era while Joe Jon Finley is a much better tight end than anyone outside of Oklahoma will ever realize.

Can the Sooners find a way to harness the talents of these two players in an offense which has struggled to feature the strengths of the tight end position over the last two years?

If there is reason for optimism, it is Kevin Wilson. Wilson not only serves as the offensive coordinator, but he's also now the fullbacks and tight ends position coach on the offensive side of the ball.

No one wants to see his tight ends succeed more than Wilson heading into 2007. And we recently went to Wilson to get his thoughts on the spring for his tight end group. Editor Carey Murdock hands out his grades at the position following a talk with the offensive guru.

Joe Jon Finley - Wilson has always been pleased with Finley as a tight end under his guidance. No one is trying to make Finley into the bruising type of blocker we see in Brody Eldridge.

But he's done everything he's needed to do in order to put on extra weight since arriving as a tall, lanky athlete from Texas. Finley was impressive in the spring as he's continued to prove he can be a weapon down the field in passing situations.

Finley does have a knack for slipping past defenders and finding himself open behind the linebackers. He's also the most sure-handed receiver in the tight end group.

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