Oklahoma football numbers to know: WR Mykel Jones, No. 3

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 12: Wide receiver Mykel Jones
NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 12: Wide receiver Mykel Jones /

Every season, there are players on the Oklahoma football roster, and hundreds just like it across the college football landscape, that burst out of the background and seize the opportunity to make their presence known.

There are all kinds of reasons for it. Most every player has to go through a period of adjustment that comes with being new and having to learn how things are done at a completely different level. You have to put in your time and your hard work, and earn your spurs, so to speak. Very few come into a college program and become immediate star performers.

When players ahead of you either depart the program or go down with an injury, an opportunity is created. But you have to be ready when the moment arrives and not squander the opportunity.

A number of college football experts have classified the group of Oklahoma receivers with whom quarterback Baker Mayfield will be looking to advance the ball this season as a non-name unit, inferring that the opportunity is wide open for the next Dede Westbrook, Sterling Shepard or Ryan Broyles to emerge as the next super-star Sooner receiver and playmaker.

The names we have heard the most about in the preseason as being prime receiving targets for the Sooners and players to watch for in 2017 are senior wide-out Jeffery Mead, sophomore tight end Mark Andrews and redshirt junior Nick Basquine. But to be brutally honest, this trio caught only 22 percent of the passes thrown by Oklahoma quarterbacks last season, and Basquine went down with an Achilles injury in training camp last week that will keep him out for the entire season.

Basquine was slated to start this season at an inside receiver spot, a position. Head coach Lincoln Riley told an Associated Press reporter last week that Basquine was going to be “a huge, huge part of our offense.”

“Maybe it creates a little more edge in you, because you know you have to be the guy.” –WR Mykel Jones following the season-ending injury to teammate Nick Basquine

As bad a blow to the Oklahoma offense as losing Basquine might be, it sets up a golden opportunity for the next man up, which in this case is sophomore Mykel Jones. Rated by Rivals as the 20th best receiver in the country when he signed with the Sooners in the class of 2016. knows it is his time to step up and show what he is capable of.

“Maybe it creates a little more edge in you, because you know you have to be the guy,” the former four-star prospect told Ryan Aber, OU beat writer for the Oklahoma City Oklahoman. ”

In his freshman year last season, Jones played in seven games and made 13 receptions for 106 yards, including a 43-yard catch in Oklahoma’s win over  Baylor.

“What Dede (Westbrook) did set the bar,” Jones said. “It makes me come out here and play better and do what I do every day and not make any excuses for myself.”

Jones wears the No. 3 jersey and will get plenty of chances to shine in the Sooner offense in 2017, much like the last player who wore that number for Oklahoma on offense a couple years back: Sterling Shepard.