3 Sooners in the Top 5 Newcomers To the Big 12

5. Mike Reed, LB, Oklahoma (transfer): Meet the next great Oklahoma linebacker. Reed, a midyear transfer from Yuba College in Marysville, Calif., won a starting job at middle linebacker after a spectacular spring.

“That’s the guy we recruited … He’s knocked the snot out of a bunch of guys since he’s been here,” OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said after the spring game.

4. Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma (transfer): The Sooners lose All-Big 12 left tackle Chris Messner but reload with “The Load.” The 6-foot-8, 350-pound Loadholt, a transfer from Garden City, Kan., Community College, has already been called the biggest player in OU history. A foot stress fracture limited him to only five spring practices, but he’ll likely start at left tackle on what could be the best offensive line in the Big 12. Whoever wins OU’s quarterback derby should have his backside kept clean.

3. DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma (redshirt freshman): Three Sooners in the top five? That’s how well Oklahoma has recruited lately. If not for Oklahoma’s ridiculous wealth of running back talent, Murray might be considered one of the country’s most exciting players for 2007. He was certainly OU’s most explosive back during the spring, which concluded with his four-carry, 103-yard day in the final scrimmage. One local writer wrote that Murray’s spring performance might have been the most impressive spring by any OU player – ever.

Fighting a case of turf toe – plus a depth chart that included Adrian Peterson – Murray settled for scout-team duty last season. That will change this fall when OU leans on Allen Patrick and Murray to carry an offense that will start a new quarterback.

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