Oklahoma football: Spring look in at the 2023 offensive line group

University of Oklahoma football player Savion Byrd (59) looks on as the offensive line goes through drills during team practice on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Norman, Okla.Ou Football Practice
University of Oklahoma football player Savion Byrd (59) looks on as the offensive line goes through drills during team practice on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Norman, Okla.Ou Football Practice /

Expert’s note: This is the sixth article in a series providing an early spring look at the various position groups ahead of the 2023 Oklahoma football season. Today we focus on the guys upfront on the offensive line.

The Sooners have a couple of big holes to fill on the offensive line in preparing for the 2023 season. Gone are tackles Anton Harrison and Wanya Morris, both of whom were two of the five Oklahoma players selected in last weekend’s NFL Draft. Gone also is a third starter in right guard Chris Murray.

Oklahoma returns two offensive line starters from the 2022 team: Senior center Andrew Raym and fifth-year lineman McKade Mettauer at left guard.

Raym started 10 games for the Sooners last season despite battling a shoulder injury. A hit he incurred late in the season against West Virginia forced season-ending surgery, but offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh reported his was back at full strength during spring drills.

Mettauer, who transferred from California for the 2022 season, started 13 games for OU last fall. The 6-foot, 4-inch, 310-pound O-lineman played 12 games at left guard but was moved to right guard in the Cheez-It Bowl game against Florida State.

Raym and Mettauer are being counted on to provide continuity and leadership to a Sooner offensive line that is in transition.

The Sooners got a huge pickup in the transfer portal this offseason, adding Walter Rouse from Stanford. The 6-foot, 6-inch, 315-pound veteran offensive tackle was a William V. Campbell finalist (awarded for academics, community service and on-field performance) last season. Rouse brings four years of experience at the position to the rebuilt Sooner offensive line.

Rouse was long believed to be headed to Nebraska from the portal, but at the last minute he flipped to Oklahoma, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. While at Stanford, he played in 39 games and logged more than 2,500 snaps at the left tackle spot.

Rouse did not play in the recent OU spring game. He is rehabbing from surgery in December to repair a torn labrum but is expected to be healthy and ready to go in the fall.

Tyler Guyton, who saw action in 10 games and made five starts at offensive tackle, heads the spring depth chart at the right tackle spot, where he will replace Wanya Morris. The former TCU transfer showed his versatility filling in at both tackle spots a year ago when Anton Harrison or Morris missed time.

Caleb Shaffer and Jake Taylor will battle it out for the right guard spot alongside the other offensive line starters. Shaffer comes to OU from Miami of Ohio, where he played the last four seasons, where he had 28 starts at the guard position. Taylor played eight games for the Sooners last season in a backup role.

Others who are expected to see quite a bit of action on the offensive line this season for Oklahoma, but largely in backup roles include Savion Byrd, who was impressive at left guard against Florida State in the Cheez-It Bowl in his first career start. Freshman Cayden Green was the No. 11 offensive tackle in the 2024 class, according to 247Sports.

Redshirt junior Aaryn Parks is second in the spring depth chart, backing up Guyton at right tackle. He played in five games as a redshirt-sophomore in 2022.

Sophomore Jacob Sexton played in 10 of the Sooners’ 13 games last season as a backup left tackle. He earned his first career start in the Florida State bowl game but was injured on the third offensive play of the game. He is still rehabbing from that injury. If he is healthy enough, he should see plenty of action in the fall.