Week 1: Oklahoma vs. Houston
While the outcome may be reminiscent of Oklahoma’s previous two prolific Heisman winners, quarterback Jalen Hurts’ style is much different than either’s. I came away impressed with Hurts’ accuracy throwing the ball downfield, the strength of his arm when making tighter-window throws, as well as his ability to consistently fall forward as a ball carrier. What concerns me is that Jalen is a taller athlete with longer legs and stride, and several times versus Houston I grew concerned that his style can potentially lead to injury as he was cut down low by tacklers. If he can stay healthy and avoid some unnecessary wear and tear, I expect him to be a top-5 quarterback prospect.
On the defensive side for Oklahoma, Canadian defensive tackle Neville Gallimore made his presence felt in the game with a sack. Gallimore is an intriguing prospect due to his combination of size and athleticism, and he has upside to be a versatile piece that can play any of the interior positions across even & odd fronts. In the secondary, cornerback Parnell Motley made his third consecutive season-opener start, which speaks to his experience and competitiveness. The senior corner showed a willingness to get physical with Cougar wide receivers despite possessing a leaner frame in the run game, and he recorded a pass break up in the 2nd half while in part showing his ability to be successful in both facets of the game. As more passing teams appear on the Sooners’ schedule, Motley will surely be tested through the air.
For Houston, quarterback/athlete D’Eriq King razzled and dazzled his way around the field, showcasing his exciting playstyle. While I don’t think he’s polished at this point as a passer, he does have some arm talent to go along with his athletic skillset. I see him playing wide receiver and being that Antwaan Randle El versatile piece at the NFL level; and I’d love to see him return a punt or three as he possesses the speed, COD and natural run instincts to be dangerous if he can field the ball.
Up front protecting King is four senior blockers, led by Josh Jones. The left tackle looks the part physically with his long body and arms. While he’ll surely continue to add on good weight for the next level, he has the play demeanor and athleticism to be potentially productive at four OL positions.