The college careers of 18 Oklahoma football seniors came to an end in the Sooners 54-48 double-overtime College football Playoff loss to Georgia in the historic Rose Bowl on Monday.
Some of those 18, like Heisman winner Baker Mayfield, Dimitri Flowers and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, will have opportunities at the next level. But there are some other Sooner players who still have eligibility remaining who may also have played their final game in an Oklahoma jersey.
Two Sooner veterans with time remaining who definitely will not be back are unanimous All-Americans Orlando Brown and tight end Mark Andrews. Both have publicly announced they are forgoing their final year of collegiate eligibility and will declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Brown spent three seasons as an offensive left tackle, whose job it was to protect Mayfield’s blind side. This season, the 6-foot, 8-inch, 345-pound offensive lineman was the anchor of one of best offensive lines in college football. Andrews, a redshirt junior, caught 62 passes this season for 958 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 15.8 yards per reception in his career.
Both Brown and Andrews have been projected a first-round draft picks, which is a big reason they have elected to leave early for the NFL.
Another big name on the OU football roster, who is eligible to declare for the NFL Draft (more than two years out of high school) but is expected to stay at least one more season is redshirt sophomore Rodney Anderson, who had a sensational breakout season in 2017. Head coach Lincoln Riley said last week he has not talked directly with Anderson about the upcoming draft but doesn’t expect him to apply for early entry – not this year, anyway.
Junior placekicker/punter Austin Seibert also is eligible to leave early, but there has been no indication that he would forego his final season at Oklahoma. Junior offensive lineman Dru Samia may also be harboring NFL aspirations, but it is almost certain he will return for his senior season.
Monday, Jan. 15 is the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft, but it appears at this time that Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews are the only Sooners who will be leaving early and forgoing their final season of eligibility.