Two days after Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley announced that offensive lineman Alex Dalton for the season, with a non-football related injury, the first-year head coach confirmed that junior receiver Nick Basquine is out for the season with a torn Achillies on his left leg.
After catching 20 passes for 265 yards, and two touchdowns, last season, Basquine was expected to be a key contributor for the Sooners this fall. While his absence will be felt on the offense due to his experience and chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield, there’s still a load of talent on the sideline.
Sophomore Marquise Brown may be the biggest factor in replacing Basquine in the slot. Coaches and teammates were already boasting about Brown’s speed and if his hands can be consistent then he’ll undoubtedly be a guy that Riley will want on the field.
Kentucky transfer Jeff Badet is also a likely contributor in the slot. One of the primary reasons he left Lexington, after catching 82-passes for 1,385-yards (16.9-yards per catch), and seven-touchdowns, for Norman was to learn the slot position in an effort to better his daft stock.
Jordan Smallwood and Mykel Jones could also move inside if Riley is struggling to find an answer. Reports are that Smallwood is having a great camp and is the best of the receiving corps when it comes to blocking. Jones has the right frame for the slot (5-11/186) and has experience on his side after playing in 12 games last season.
The bottom line is that Basquine’s loss is a blow to the Oklahoma offense but it isn’t a crushing blow. The Sooners were already retooling the wide receiver position after last season and there’s certainly no shortage of bodies. The biggest loss here is in experience, which absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked, but there’s still more than enough talent on the roster.