Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Oklahoma has carved out a dynasty in the Big 12 with six championships during the last nine seasons and an unprecedented three-peat of league titles from 2006-08. The backbone of that success has been tenacious recruiting over the years by Bob Stoops and his staff.
The return of quarterback Sam Bradford, tackle Trent Williams, tight end Jermaine Gresham and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy for another season after they considered an early departure for the NFL will give the Sooners a chance to compete for another title in 2009. But the Sooners still have some major holes to fill with additional personnel that can be addressed through this year's recruiting.
Williams is the only starter returning along the offensive line. The need is especially apparent at guard and center, where the Sooners are young and untested at both positions.
The Sooners also need help at wide receiver where Ryan Broyles is the only returning player in Oklahoma's four-man rotation with the loss of Juaquin Iglesias, Manuel Johnson and Quentin Chaney among their leading receivers. And tight ends Gresham and Brody Eldridge both will be seniors in 2009, meaning there's an immediate need for help there, too.
Stoops' defense is largely young with three sophomores and a freshman along the defensive front. The linebackers appear stacked with redshirt freshmen Travis Lewis and Austin Box poised to become defensive staples in upcoming seasons.
Oklahoma's major defensive positional need is is at safety where Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes both were seniors last season. The Sooners have some younger players behind them, but could an upgrade of talent for a secondary that was leaky at times last season.