Next season assuming that Frank Shannon returns, the Sooners will have 9 scholarship linebackers. With 4 linebackers on the field for the Sooners in their base defense, you can see real quick that depth will be an issue for next year. Ideally the Sooners would take at least 3, if not 4 linebackers in the class. The Sooners have offers out to numerous uncommitted prospects but the outlook for landing some of these prospects looks bleak. To make things worse they have ZERO commitments for the class of 2015.
After the Tennessee game, most assumed the Sooners would have their pick from elite talent across the country. 3 losses later, and a lack of recruiting momentum has put a damper on what was at one time looking like a talent filled class.
To further complicate things, the Sooners must find players like Geneo Grissom at outside linebacker in order to really shine defensively with the 3-4. Recruiting a 200 pound linebacker out of high school will no longer be the norm. Here is a look at the remaining uncommitted prospects with Sooner offers along with my predictions where they will end up.
4 Star Anthony Wheeler 6'2" 215 lbs. from Dallas, TX (OU, Texas, Baylor) This appears to be a recruit that the Sooners will land barring something unforeseen.
5 Star Keisean Lucier-South 6'5" 220lbs. from Orange, California (UCLA, USC, OU) Lucier-South appears to be locked into UCLA, although I wouldn't completely count the Sooners out, in fact they are still close.
3 Star Anthony McKee 6'2" 195lbs. from Columbus, OH (OU, MichSt) McKee is torn between the Spartans and Sooners, but my gut tells me he will be in East Lansing next year.
4 Star Darrin Kirkland Jr. 6'1" 235lbs. from Indianapolis, IN. Kirkland recently visited the Sooners, but they appear to be on the outside looking in. Look for Kirkland to pick from the Vols or Ole Miss.
5 Star Malik Jefferson 6'3" 220lbs. from Mesquite, TX. Malik is an absolute superstar but will either be a Longhorn or Aggie next year.
4 Star Ricky DeBerry 6'2" 240lbs from Mechanicsville, VA. DeBerry has focused in on the Crimson Tide, Volunteers, Buckeyes, and Sooners. OU has a legitimate chance here.
4 Star Arthur McGinnis 6'2" 225lbs. from New Orleans, LA. McGinnis seems to be focused on Ole Miss, Miss St, OU, A&M, and Tennessee. McGinnis is quiet and its anyone's guess where he will end up.
5 Star John Houston 6'3" 210lbs. from Gardena, CA. Houston appears to be locked in to USC, even though many claim he will visit the Sooners.
So it would appear that the Sooners are the favorite for one of the linebackers listed, and possibilities for several others. It's not time to panic yet, but it's obvious that the Sooners MUST offer multiple prospects.The OU coaches offered multiple DB's this week, and I would guess that multiple new LB offers will soon be coming.
Further, one would have to think that a very difficult decision will have to be made by Bob Stoops in the offseason if the recruiting at the position doesn't pick up. Linebacker recruiting has suffered and dwindled over the past few years. It might be time to go in a different direction.
This will definitely be an interesting situation to watch between now and signing day. Best case for the Sooners would be to win convincingly over the next few weeks, hope that UCLA falls apart and new offers go out.