Sooners answer depth questions in the portal

The first transfer portal window officially closed last week. Waited a couple of days to see if anything else might materialize, but it sounds like Oklahoma is ready to move forward with this group for spring football.

Head coach Brent Venables and staff addressed a lot of their needs and will have a much better idea of ​​what needs to be done, if anything, following spring practice when the next window opens.

OU is bringing in 12 new faces and a look at what fans should realistically be expecting from new crop of Sooners. All the portal guys are enrolled in the OU database.

(In order of commitment)

DT Jacob Lacey (Notre Dame)

the story: OU’s portal haul began with a holiday commitment when Lacey made the call on Thanksgiving afternoon. It was obvious the Sooners were going to attack the defensive line for the portal and Lacey gave an idea for what OU would be seeking. Experience and production, and Lacey will need to be someone who can make that leap for OU at the defensive line.

TE Austin Stogner (South Carolina)

the story: You can go home again. Stogner began his career at OU, went to South Carolina for a year and is now back in Norman. He’s going to look to duplicate the Brayden Willis story and return for that one final season where he’s able to put it all together. Stogner will have an opportunity to show what he can do, no other time than now.

LB Dasan McCullough (Indiana)

the story: McCullough was one of the real true freshman defensive stars in the country, producing at a high level at Indiana. Once it became clear the Sooner were going to be targeting the McCullough brothers (Daeh, Dasan), it was very easy to connect the dots. Even if it felt inevitable, it’s a massive addition. McCullough feels like the epitome of what the Cheetah position is expected to be.

S Reggie Pearson (Texas Tech)

the story: OU goes back to the one-year experienced safety model that it true to do in 2022 with Trey Morrison (UNC). Now it’s Pearson. The safety position will be something to watch because you have some established names like Billy Bowman and Key Lawrence and then some young names like Peyton Bowen and Robert Spears-Jennings. And now Pearson, that’s the goal of championship depth.

DE Trace Ford (Oklahoma State)

the story: Going to the other side of the Bedlam rivalry. Ford’s flip to OU ruffled a lot of feathers, but Sooner fans have known about Ford for years and years, going back to his time at Edmond Santa Fe. This is as easy as it gets. If Ford can stay healthy and show signs of that 2020 player, then the risk will absolutely be worth it. Ford in 20-30 snaps per game sounds like a win for all involved.

P Luke Elzinga (Central Michigan)

the story: A little bit under the radar, but punter was something the Sooners had to address after the two-year success of Michael Turk. Elzinga is coming in as a walk-on, but he feels like the leader in the clubhouse to be OU’s punter.

OG Caleb Shaffer (Miami (Ohio))

the story: Shaffer was among one of the first names to circle after entering the portal because of his experience. This almost feels like another case of OU following its blueprint from the past because Robert Congel was sort of in this role two years ago. That’s what OU will be looking from Shaffer, being versatile and being reliable to fill in whenever necessary.

EN Roundel Bothroyd (Wake Forest)

the story: You want experience? You want production? Nobody from the portal for OU checks both boxes as much as what Bothroyd does. OU has its defensive end starters coming back, but adding Bothroyd was another sign of the Sooners saying whatever was accomplished in 2022 wasn’t good enough. He’ll be a vital cog right from the jump.

DT Of which Sears (Texas State)

the story: This will be an interesting one. A juco season followed by a year at Texas State and now Sears is making the leap to the Sooners. It’s really hard to know how quickly he’s going to adjust to what is being asked by Todd Bates. It might not happen in 2023, necessarily, but if Sears can starts putting pieces together that it’ll be a good start.

WR Andrel Anthony (Michigan)

the story: Between the portal and the NFL Draft (Marvin Mims), OU was hit hard at wide receiver. Didn’t really know if Anthony and OU would connect, but it didn’t take long for this to come together. Anthony showed signs in 2021, and OU and new wide receivers coach Emmett Jones’ goal will be to unleash that Anthony in 2023.

OT Walter Rouse (Stanford)

the story: If Bothroyd is the experience and production on defense, then Rouse is the equivalent for the offense. A three-year starter with the Cardinal, Rouse was arguably the biggest priority for what OU needed to do. Provided he can get healthy again from a torn labrum, the Sooners should feel confident they found one of their starting tackles for 2023.

TE Blake Smith (Texas A&M)

the story: Again, feels like OU is following a plan. Daniel Parker was more the bruising and blocking tight end addition last year. Smith appears to be that tight end this time around. It’s key, though, as Joe Jon Finley tries to establish a much deeper tight end room going forward.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: