Oklahoma football wide receiver group among country's best for 2024


The 2024 Oklahoma football season will be one stacked with "firsts."

First and foremost, it will be the Sooners' first season in the all-mighty SEC. It will be the first year as a starter for sophomore QB Jackson Arnold, and it is the first year under new defensive coordinator Zac Alley as well as co-offensive coordinators Seth Littrell and Joe Jon Finley.

Oklahoma will enter the 2024 season with a wide-receiver group that is both deep and rich in talent and collectively will be among the best there is in college football. The Sooners lose their No. 1 receiver from a year ago, Drake Stoops, but with the group that returns, plus what OU has added through the transfer portal and the incoming freshman class, will have playmakers and receiving weapons aplenty.

Nic Anderson is back in 2024 after a breakout sophomore season in which he caught 38 passes for 798 yards and 10 touchdowns and led the nation with an average of 21.0 yards per catch. Also returning are Jalil Farooq and Jayden Gibson, who combined for 59 catches and 935 receiving yards last season.

Michigan transfer Andrel Anthony led the Sooners in receiving through six games last season but suffered a torn ACL in the Texas game and missed the remainder of the 2023 season. His speed and ability to take the top off of the defense makes Anthony a major deep threat in the Oklahoma offense. And speaking of speed, the Sooners' have a dynamic pair in Brenen Thompson, a transfer from Texas, and sophomore Jaquaize Pettaway. Although the pair saw limited action last season, when they were on the field, opposing defenses took notice.

Perhaps the best of the lot, however, is a receiver who wasn't on the Oklahoma roster in 2023. Deion Burks joins the Sooners from Purdue, where he was the Boilermakers leading receiver last season as a sophomore and was an All-Big Ten second-team selection. He had 47 catches for 629 yards and seven touchdowns. Burks will likely replace Stoops as OU's primary slot receiver.

CBS Sports recently called the OU quarterback-wide receiver duo of Arnold and Burks one of the 10 best in college football for the coming season.

The Sooners are also excited about the quartet of freshman wide receivers -- Zion Kearney, Ivan Carreon, Zion Ragins and K.J. Daniels -- in the 2024 recruiting class, although their contributions are probably more future-based given the experience and depth Oklahoma has at the position for 2024.

Probably the biggest question Brent Venables and the Oklahoma coaching staff have to grapple with surrounding the wide-receiver group in 2024 is how to divvy up playing time and targets for all the weapons they have in the arsenal. Which we can all agree is a good problem to have.