‘Cheetah’ depth chart gets an infusion of talent for 2023 Oklahoma Sooners


One of the positions that the Oklahoma Sooners will have to replace this offseason is Brent Venables’ versatile “Cheetah” position. Part linebacker, part safety, part nickel corner, the hybrid defender is an integral part of the Sooners’ defense.

On the way to the NFL is DaShaun White, who manned the “Cheetah” for Oklahoma in 2022. Justin Harrington played backup to White last season. Harrington will be joined on the depth chart by several new players, adding competition at the position.

Joining Harrington will be joined by incoming transfers reggie pearson and Dasan McCullough and true freshman Peyton Bowen.

Harrington received a lot of buzz last offseason but didn’t get much playing time at the position as the Sooners’ defensive staff relied on their veteran DaShaun White.

Pearson played safety for Texas Tech and brings a physical edge to the Sooners’ defense. The hits he laid on Eric Gray and Dillon Gabriel in Lubbock last season were highlight-reel plays.

McCullough comes to the Sooners after a standout true freshman season as an edge player for Indiana. He has experience playing safety from high school and would seem to project better as a pass rusher, but with his athleticism, he’ll make a difference no matter where he plays.

And then there’s Peyton Bowen. The five-star safety out of Denton Guyer comes to Norman with high expectations and much fanfare. About Bowen, Venables said, “He’s beyond his years. Football is easy for him. Schemes are easy for him. He understands ball, and he finds the football.”

The Oklahoma Sooners have some really intriguing options at “Cheetah” for the 2023 season. They’ve got an experienced player in Pearson, one that was receiving a lot of buzz last offseason in Harrington, and a couple of players in McCullough and Bowen whose athleticism will stand out on the football field.

With Jaren Kanak projected to play one of the linebacker spots next to Danny Stutsman, the Sooners will get more speed and athleticism on the field in 2023 in addition to whoever starts at “Cheetah.”

Brent Venables spoke about the improved depth and where they’re at in the offseason program during his Thursday media availability. The transfer and recruiting class additions will be big factors for the Sooners and these incoming players will have an impact for Oklahoma at “Cheetah.”

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire



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