The Sooners took a junior-college offensive tackle in this class in Will Latu, who is not on campus yet, and won’t be until the summer. Latu is still at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif.
“He’s got to get his work done academically,” said offensive line coach James Patton. “His plan is to be here in June for summer.”
Patton compared Latu’s situation to that of Phil Loadholt, who because of a broken bone in his foot couldn’t practice in the spring, but won a starting spot at left tackle anyway.
“It’s no different than what I told Phil Loadholt when he came here,” Patton said. “I told him you’ve got to maximize every day and every week, get yourself in shape, learn the offense and be a big-time football player. With the clock you’ve got no chance to relax.
“Of course Phil accepted that challenge and did, and made the best of it and I think Will Latu will do the same.”
It will be interesting to see how the Sooners use Latu, who can play either tackle position. As of now, OU intends to swing right tackle Lane Johnson to the left side, then have Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson battle it out for the starting job at right tackle.
But Latu could be a factor on either side once he gets to Norman.
“He played left tackle (at Canyons) and he’s got good feet and quickness, but he can play right tackle too,” Patton said.
“It’s all based on how guys do when they get here. He’s got a mean streak to him and he’s physical.
“Phil had a work ethic and he knew he had a two-year window to make it happen. Will’s in the same situation.”