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Oklahoma down another lineman

Not one week after it was announced that senior center Ben Habern would be calling it a career due to nagging injuries, the Sooners found out they will be down another lineman.

Bob Stoops confirmed after Monday’s practice that guard Tyler Evans suffered what was being reported as a significant knee injury. Later Monday evening, the school announced Evans had a torn ACL.

“We feel badly for Tyler and will certainly encourage him through the surgery and rehab,” Stoops said in a prepared statement. “Bronson Irwin has been playing well and we’re fortunate to have good depth. He’ll get a lot of reps in the preseason and we’ll be ready to go when the season gets here.”

The release doesn’t say definitely, but I think it’s safe to assume Evans will be out for the year. It’s a tough blow for Oklahoma’s offensive line depth. OU has now gone from 102 career O-line starts to 43 with loss of Habern and Evans, according to the Oklahoman.

Injuries were lethal to Oklahoma in the second half of last year. For the Big 12 preseason favorites, the 2012 season isn’t getting off to a real great start when you combine the injuries along the O-line with the suspensions still facing members of the wide receiver unit.

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8 Responses to “Oklahoma down another lineman”
  1. coolhorn says: Aug 7, 2012 9:43 AM

    You hate to see a player lose his senior year to injuries, even if he plays for your chief rival. My thoughts are the same for him as for Ben Habern, a safe recovery from the injury.

  2. burntorangehorn says: Aug 7, 2012 10:49 AM

    I don’t think any of their receivers are on suspension anymore. Kameel Jackson has been dismissed from the team, while Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks (along with DB Quentin Hayes) have been welcomed back to the team and had their scholarships reinstated. They get Trey Metoyer, who was one of the top WR recruits in the 2011 class, but had to prep for a year because he didn’t qualify academically. While four-star juco receiver Courtney Gardner failed to qualify, they still add three high-quality freshman receivers, a solid juco transfer, plus two quality FBS transfers in Jalen Saunders e (50 rec 1065yds 12TD last year for Fresno St) and Justin Brown (35 rec 500yds 2TD for Penn St). While Stills, Reynolds, and Franks are really the only Sooners with meaningful experience and stats within the OU offense, they sure do have a loaded cupboard of talent, and not all of it is fresh out of high school.

    The OL losses are pretty significant ones, but I believe they’re shifting their pretty good right tackle to left, and they almost always have good depth on the interior line. When Habern broke his arm and missed five games in the middle of the 2011 season, they covered down well with Gabe Ikard, Adam Shead, and Stephen Good, all of whom return for 2012. Bronson Irwin was a VHT recruit in 2010, and by all accounts has been very impressive. Even so, it’s true that they’re sustaining a lot of blows to the line:

    1. Will Latu, Rivals’ #1-rated juco recruit, failed to qualify.
    2. Dylan Dismuke, a redshirt freshman and Rivals four-star OT from 2011, was placed on medical exemption by the coaching staff, meaning his playing days are over.
    3. John Michael McGee, a Rivals four-star OG (#6 nationally) for 2012, is homesick, and was reportedly given time off practice to decide if he wants to continue to play at OU. Yesterday (Aug. 6th) he tweeted his well-wishes to the program, and said he’ll be watching, but that it’s not for him. If he doesn’t change his mind, there are several pretty decent NJCAA teams, some FCS schools, and a number of good NCAA Div. II teams within an hour or two. The quickest drives in FBS from his hometown of Texarkana are SMU, North Texas, and TCU, in that order (all between 180-215mi). I tend to think he’d do best to go to one of the better nearby juco programs for a year or two to ease the transition, then re-evaluate his FBS options.

    Anyway, the point is that their offensive line has some high-quality players to step in for Habern and Evans, so they’re probably going to be just fine for the time being, but they might be just an injury or two away from major problems. And while I’d rather they not be fine there or at receiver, I have to admit that they do a pretty good job of filling in behind lost starters in most cases.

  3. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 7, 2012 10:56 AM

    @burnt, the suspended receivers & DB are back at practice and on scholarship — that suspension was lifted — but Stoops said they’re still suspended for multiple games. That was as of Aug. 4.

  4. burntorangehorn says: Aug 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    @coolhorn–agreed. While the Evans and Habern losses are negatives for Oklahoma, I’d rather these guys have been just fine. It’s dishonorable to look on a respectable opponent’s injury as a positive (I can think of a couple of exceptions, though), even if it makes it more likely one’s favorite team will upset its chief rival.

    By the way, while this was to be Evans’ senior season, the good news for him and Oklahoma is that he hasn’t redshirted yet, so they don’t even have to worry about applying for a medical hardship waiver or sixth season of eligibility. If he recovers and otherwise maintains eligibility, he’ll be able to play next season as a senior.

  5. bucksnsooners says: Aug 7, 2012 12:23 PM

    OL coach Patton has done a heck of a job adjusting to injuries and i dont see it being a problem this season. Whoever fills the gaps will be fired up and ready to play

  6. centexhorn says: Aug 7, 2012 2:17 PM

    Is anyone left on their team? A couple walk-ons and a water boy? Their players are dropping like flies.

  7. sportsdrenched.com says: Aug 7, 2012 2:41 PM

    Well see if it doesn’t affect them. You start jerking with an O-Line and bad things happen, and it’s often over looked. This camp is starting to remind me of the 2009 camp.

  8. mgavin78 says: Aug 7, 2012 4:01 PM

    Go to PSU and get another one.

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