One of the biggest questions for the Sooners heading into the season is who will step up as a reliable target for Baker Mayfield? Unfortunately, Mayfield just lost his top returning option. Coach Lincoln Riley announced on Friday that receiver Nick Basquine is out for the season after suffering an Achilles injury in practice.
“A terrible injury for Nick, and one that will affect us as a team,” coach Lincoln Riley said. “He was a really clutch player for us last year, and we felt he was ready to grow into a bigger role.”
Basquine, a redshirt junior, played in all 13 games last season, and he was OU’s top returning receiver with just 20 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
When the leading returning receiver has just 265 yards, that’s a pretty good indicator that the unit is short on experience. The loss of Basquine is obviously a setback. He was expected to challenge for the starting job this fall, or at least be a big part of the rotation.
The good news is that Oklahoma brought in a couple of transfers during the offseason to bolster the receiver group. Jeff Badet, Kentucky’s top receiver a year ago, has speed and size and can line up in the slot or the outside. JUCO transfer Marquise Brown will also challenge for a starting role.
There are guys in the wings that could look to have a break out year this season, as well. Jeffery Mead returns to the offense, who showed flashes of his potential last season. Receivers Jordan Smallwood, A.D. Miller and Dahu Green will also help provide some depth to the position, along with freshman CeeDee Lamb and Charleston Rambo. Tight end Mark Andrews will also give Mayfield another weapon to help spread the field.
Basquine is the second player the Sooners have lost this fall to a season-ending injury. Offensive lineman Alex Dalton suffered a knee injury just before fall camp. Like Dalton, Basquine will have one year of eligibility left following this season since he has already used his redshirt year. However, since the injuries happened before the season, both players may be eligible for Medical Hardship Waiver. Commonly referred to as a medical redshirt, if granted, it would give them a sixth year of eligibility.