Position breakdown: Quarterbacks
The scoop: The Sooners are looking for a new quarterbacks to replace a Heisman Trophy winner for the second consecutive season. Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts has been considered the heir apparent by many on day one, but Tanner Mordecai is in his third year inside the offense.
The bottom line: Hurts was 26-2 as a starter at Alabama and has started more College Football Playoff games (4) than Mordecai has career games played (2).
Position breakdown: Running backs
The scoop: Trey Sermon had a team-high 13 touchdowns last season, Kennedy Brooks (pictured) averaged 8.9 yards per rush (third-best nationally) and T.J. Pledger only had 30 carries, but averaged 6.0 yards per touch.
The bottom line: Sermon and Brooks provide a solid one-two punch, while Pledger has a better grasp on the offense. Keep an eye on newcomers Rhamondre Stevenson (juco transfer) and freshman Marcus Major.
Position breakdown: Receivers
The scoop: CeeDee Lamb and Grant Calcaterra (pictured) will try to help the Sooners absorb the loss of an NFL first-round pick like Marquise Brown (75 catches, 1,318 yards, 10 TDS). Incoming freshmen Trejan Bridges, Jadon Haselwood, Austin Stogner and Theo Wease are looking to make an impact.
The bottom line: Lamb seems set for a Biletnikoff Award-type season and will be a solid mentor to the younger players, while Calcaterra’s numbers have grown each season.
Position breakdown: Offensive line
The scoop: Replacing four starters — all who were taken by the fourth round of the NFL Draft — won’t be easy. Creed Humphrey (pictured) is a solid anchor at center and coaches will build around him.
The bottom line: Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is one of the best offensive line coaches in the business. Fall camp reports are that he’s not easy on the newcomers. He expects dominance early.
Position breakdown: Defensive line
The scoop: Neville Gallimore (pictured) leads a defensive line desperately needing a bump this season. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch’s system asks the front to be playmakers, which will be interesting to see as the season unfolds.
The bottom line: Seniors Gallimore, Marquise Overton, Dillon Faamatau and Kenneth Mann will need to have solid final seasons for OU to find success. Ronnie Perkins will be a star, and LaRon Stokes needs to be watched closely.
Position breakdown: Linebackers
The scoop: With Caleb Kelly out with an injury, DaShaun White (pictured) will line up next to preseason Big 12 defensive player of the year Kenneth Murray at inside linebacker.
The bottom line: Like defensive line, the question is how much can this unit make plays for the Sooners? Murray has plenty of experience under his belt. Outside linebackers, like Jon-Michael Terry and Nik Bonnito, will try to make names for themselves.
Position breakdown: Secondary
The scoop: After possessing the nation’s worst pass defense last season (ranked 129 out 129 schools), this will be a litmus test of how improved the team will be in 2019.
The bottom line: There’s experience on the corner (Tre Brown, Parnell Motley, Jordan Parker), which will be balanced by young safeties like Patrick Fields (pictured) and Delarrin Turner-Yell.
Position breakdown: Special teams
The scoop: After having Austin Seibert handling all kick chores over the past three seasons, it’s open season at the position. Tre Brown and CeeDee Lamb (pictured) could be elite returners for Oklahoma.
The bottom line: Gabe Brkic (kicker) and Reeves Mundschau (punter) will likely get first crack at replacing Seibert. Oklahoma should have a punt or kick return for a TD for the first time since 2016 this season.
Stars: Jalen Hurts
While he may not have Kyler Murray speed, Hurts has the opportunity to make things happen with his legs.
Stars: CeeDee Lamb
His strong finish to his sophomore season against Texas and Alabama has placed strong expectations on his this fall.
Stars: Kenneth Murray
After having 155 tackles last season (most by an OU player since 2007), we’ll find out how major a role he’ll have in Alex Grinch’s defense this year
Sleepers: LaRon Stokes
The juco transfer from NEO has drawn high praise since arriving on campus last spring. He’s just what OU needs on the defensive line — a playmaker.
Sleepers: Adrian Ealy
The offensive tackle has bided his time and is ready to make an impact after working out behind Orlando Brown and Cody Ford.
Coaching breakdown: Lincoln Riley
Position: Head coach OU experience: Third year
Salary: $6 million
Coaching breakdown: Alex Grinch
Position: Defensive coordinator OU experience: First year
Salary: $1.4 million
Coaching breakdown: Bill Bedenbaugh
Position:Co-offensive coordinator/offensive line OU experience: Seventh year
Coaching breakdown: Ruffin McNeill
Position: Assistant head coach/outside linebackers OU experience: Third year
Coaching breakdown: Cale Gundy
Position: Co-offensive coordinator/inside receivers OU experience: 21st year
Coaching breakdown: Shane Beamer
Position: Assistant head coach for offense/tight ends and H-backs OU experience: Second year
Coaching breakdown: Jay Boulware
Position: Running backs/special teams coordinator OU experience: Seventh year
Coaching breakdown: Dennis Simmons
Position: Associate head coach/outside receivers OU experience: Fifth year
Coaching breakdown: Roy Manning
Position: Cornerbacks OU experience: First year
Coaching breakdown: Brian Odom
Position: Inside linebackers OU experience: First year
Broadcast information: Local radio affiliates
KMOD fm97.5 (Tulsa) KTBZ am1430 (Tulsa) KYFM fm100.1 (Bartlesville) KTFX fm101.7 (Muskogee) Lincoln Riley TV show: Sundays, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Oklahoma
Lincoln Riley radio show: Tuesdays, 7 p.m., KTBZ am1430