Oklahoma football: Five bold predictions for 2017

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17: Mark Andrews
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17: Mark Andrews /
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Tight-end Mark Andrews will have a career year as a prime target for Baker Mayfield

Seemingly every season, there is a concern about the Oklahoma receiving corps and which player(s) will step up as the go-to receivers in the Sooners’ pass-receiving arsenal. Several years ago, it was Kenny Stills. Then it was Sterling Shepard and Jalen Saunders. Then it was Shepard and Dede Westbrook. Then last season Westbrook was the go-to guy, and he was good for one or two long touchdowns practically every time out.

Everyone is curious to find out who it will be in 2017. A prime candidate for that role is 6-foot, 5-inch junior tight end Mark Andrews. The All-Big 12 First Team selection has 50 receptions and 14 touchdown catches in his first two seasons in a Sooner uniform. He has good hands and the size, speed and agility to add valuable yards after the catch.

He had four catches against both Ohio State and Baylor last season, and there is every reason to believe that this coming season could be his best, especially with quarterback Baker Mayfield looking for new go-to receivers in 2017.

He also had three receptions and a touchdown catch in the Sooners’ 35-19 2017 Sugar Bowl victory over Auburn.

Andrews is listed as a tight end, but the Sooners have him running receiving routes designed for wide receivers. His production the past two seasons has shown progressive improvement, which is another reason he could be looking at a breakout year this season.

West Virginia FanSided expert Phil Poling, who also contributes to Saturday Blitz, calls Andrews one of the best-kept secrets in college football heading into the 2017 season.

The OU tight end is also getting attention from national college football writers an experts. He is one of the preseason candidates for the John Mackey Award, presented annually to the best college tight end.