Any doubt that follows the Oklahoma Sooners as they get set for the beginning of spring apply on March 22 is essentially because of the losses on the defensive aspect of the soccer. Oklahoma misplaced 5 starters to the NFL and Pat Fields transferred to Stanford. Delarrin Turner-Yell and Fields’ departures depart an enormous management void on the again finish of the Sooners’ protection.
247Sports reporter Chris Hummer has one burning query for Oklahoma getting into the 2022 season: can the Sooners’ secondary step up?
With a lot new in Norman this spring, there are a selection of urgent questions. Quarterback might be underneath the microscope. So will the o-line, vast receiver depth and the defensive scheme. But when there’s been a continued weak point for Oklahoma, it’s the secondary. Oklahoma by no means ranked higher than 58th in passing yards allowed per sport underneath Lincoln Riley, and the workforce dropped all the best way to 109th final 12 months after average enhancements the earlier two seasons.
Can it enhance subsequent 12 months? Maybe. However Brent Venables should work with slightly related personnel. There are two losses at security with Delarrin Turner-Yell and Pat Fields transferring on. Turner-Yell was in all probability one of the best participant within the secondary and Fields may need been the worst. As for the returning cornerbacks, they’re all again. There’s additionally North Carolina switch Trey Morrison, who initiatives to play security, and Wyoming cornerback switch C.J. Coldon.
Coldon and Morrison are skilled items who’re close to locks for the two-deep. However the ceiling of this room might be decided by youthful items taking a step. Can Key Lawrence and Billy Bowman emerge as distinction makers? Will D.J. Graham and Woodi Washington be higher at cornerback after up-and-down debut seasons as starters? Can younger gamers like Kani Walker, Jayden Rowe and Robert Spears-Jennings take a step? These questions will outline the Sooners’ spring. – Hummer, 247Sports.
It’s a good query to ask. As Hummer factors out, Oklahoma plummeted all the best way to 109th nationally in passing yards allowed because the Sooners surrendered 261.8 passing yards per sport and 26 passing touchdowns on the season. By comparability, the 2 high passing defenses within the Large 12 final season had been Iowa State and Oklahoma State. The Cyclones ranked eleventh nationally surrendering simply 188.2 passing yards per sport, whereas the Cowboys ranked thirty sixth nationally permitting 210.2 yards per sport.
One bit of excellent information for Oklahoma is that new head coach Brent Venables arrives with the pedigree of manufacturing sturdy defenses yearly. That ought to present some type of an instantaneous enhance. Clemson’s protection ranked thirty fourth nationally after surrendering simply 209.2 passing yards per sport in 2021.
OU has loads of choices on the again finish of its protection. Cornerback is boosted by the returns of each starters in D.J. Graham and Woodi Washington. C.J. Coldon comes over from Wyoming the place he recorded 68 tackles and 10 go breakups in 2021.
Key Lawrence confirmed critical flashes final season at each cornerback and security. It’s probably he’ll slot in at security alongside Justin Broiles. Morrison is one other attention-grabbing possibility in OU’s defensive backfield. He made begins at each security and nickel again for North Carolina final 12 months.
Oklahoma additionally brings again cornerbacks Jaden Davis and Joshua Eaton as nicely along with the signings of Gentry Williams and Jayden Rowe. At security, the Sooners additionally return Jordan Mukes and Bryson Washington and signed Robert Spears-Jennings. Defensive again Jamarrien Burt signed with Oklahoma, too.
Contact/Observe us @SoonersWire on Twitter, and like our web page on Fb to observe ongoing protection of Oklahoma information, notes, and opinions. Tell us your ideas, touch upon this story under. Be part of the dialog at present.