Roundtable: Redshirt freshman to watch

Every Thursday, the SoonerNation staff will answer a roundtable question about OU football. Leave a comment or talk about it in our "There's Only One" forum.

Today's question: Which redshirt freshman will make the biggest impact for the Sooners in 2013?

Taylor McNamara, Alex Ross and maybe even Trevor Knight could definitely spark the offense, but nowhere do the Sooners need a redshirt freshman to step up more than Jordan Wade at defensive tackle. Wade started to come on strong during bowl practices, which was a great sign for the 2013 season. The Sooners don't have a lot of other options at DT; at the moment, they only have three true DTs on the roster. One of those is Wade, who will have every opportunity to make an impact this season.

- Jake Trotter

• There seems to be a bunch of quality options with running back Alex Ross poised to make an impact, receiver Derrick Woods making noise and Taylor McNamara bringing a glimmer of hope to the tight end spot. Yet defensive tackle Jordan Wade gets the nod out of necessity. It's hard to imagine a Sooners defensive tackle rotation that does not include the redshirt freshman. Teammates have praised his sheer strength and ability, so if he's able to use that strength to create havoc for opponents he could be the most impactful redshirt freshman on OU's roster.

- Brandon Chatmon

• I think the easy answer is running back Alex Ross because so much is expected of him. I'm going to go a different direction and say tight end Taylor McNamara. He might not produce the numbers of Ross, but it's going to be vital that the tight end position becomes an integral part of OU's offense once again. McNamara will be that guy. McNamara experienced the worst freshman season possible. He was homesick and got injured. Nobody would have been shocked for him to pack up his bags and head back to San Diego. But he's persevered, and now he's healthy from the labrum injury. And 2013 is when McNamara shows why everybody was so high on him coming out of high school.

- Bob Przybylo