Triple Option: Sooners thin at safety

Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. I was asked over the weekend who OU's most valuable player was outside quarterback Landry Jones. I posed the same question on our forum. Tony Jefferson currently has the most votes. But I'm inclined to go with center Gabe Ikard. Jefferson is key to the defense. But imagine what the OU offense would look like without Ikard? In a world of hurt. Ikard allows the Sooners to keep their tempo, and gives the line experience and leadership it desperately needs without Tyler Evans and Ben Habern.

2. To the aforementioned debate, maybe outside the interior of the offense line, the Sooners are thinnest at safety. At the moment, walk-on Jesse Paulsen (Jefferson told a reporter last week that Paulsen is now on scholarship) is OU's third safety behind Jefferson and Javon Harris. Other than the O-Line, the Sooners cannot afford an injury at safety. It could result in major shuffling, like cornerback Aaron Colvin going back to the position he played last season.

3. In my story ranking the freshmen from least likely to most likely to redshirt, it was difficult to rank Nos. 2-5. Charles Tapper, Gary Simon and Eric Striker have all been very impressive this preseason. In those three, the Sooners have future potential stars on all three levels of the defense.

Feel free to join the ongoing conversation on our "There's Only One" forum.