Oklahoma mailbag: Are 2-tight end sets in the Sooners’ future?
DieHards tackles the best questions from Oklahoma fans. Look for our Oklahoma question of the day Monday through Friday. Join the conversation by sending your questions to @john_shinn, by email to John at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Oklahoma DieHards Facebook page.
Roscoe Parnell asks: With the hiring of Shane Beamer, do you think that Oklahoma will implement more 2-tight end sets?
Oklahoma could, but there are some factors going into the season that I just don’t know. One is how will the Sooners use senior Carson Meier and sophomore Grant Calcaterra?
I know Calcaterra will play tight end in this offense. But if you look at his size (6-foot-4, 224 pounds), he’s a slot receiver. Even last season, the Sooners rarely used All-American and Mackey Award-winning tight end Mark Andrews in the traditional sense. There were few times he lined up in a three-point stance and next to a tackle at the line of scrimmage.
More often than not, Oklahoma used traditional fullback Dimitri Flowers in that role of an extra blocker. Perhaps Meier can do the same thing. He was recruited from Union High School in Tulsa, Okla., as a tight end, but was quickly moved to the fullback/H-back spot.
The influence of new coach Shane Beamer could change some things. I know Lincoln Riley was impressed with what Georgia did with its tight ends in the Rose Bowl, and that played a small part in why Riley pursued hiring Beamer as the Sooners’ 10th assistant coach.
Georgia utilized three tight ends in its basic offense. The three players – Jeb Blazevich, Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner – all were listed as starters on Georgia’s depth chart.
I do think you’ll see more two-tight end sets by the 2019 season. The Sooners will add 4-star 2019 tight end Austin Stogner by then. He can do all the things Andrews did, and actually might end up being bigger. He’s already 6-6 and 230 pounds entering his senior year at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas.
Riley has proven in his four seasons of running Oklahoma’s offense that he’ll adapt the offense to its best personnel groups. But just from the look of it coming out of the spring, the multiple tight end groupings might be a year away from coming to fruition.