Lots of questions remain as the Sooners look to close down the class of 2015. Crimson and Cream Machine will attempt to shed some light on some big questions (starting with Linebacker) that yet to be answered as we approach National Signing Day (February 4th)
1. Where are the Linebackers?
This has been the ongoing cry of Sooner fans and numerous recruiting websites. There are major needs at linebacker and hopefully several solutions. Here are the current facts regarding the linebacker position at OU.
- The Sooners currently have one elite player committed in Ricky DeBerry. He is a super star, but he can't play 4 positions.
- The Sooners and Josh Smith have seemingly parted ways.
- LB offer Arthur McGinnis will visit this weekend.
-With the commitment of Ricky DeBerry the Sooners currently will have 10 scholarship linebackers on the roster going into Spring football.
The best case scenario would be for the Sooners to beat out TTech and Arizona for the signature of Arthur McGinnis. McGinnis is a really good football player who has the potential to be a star for the Sooners. With McGinnis visiting the weekend before NSD, it would appear that the Sooners have a really good shot at landing the talented New Orleans native. This would give the Sooners two linebacker commits and would somewhat salvage this class.
The Sooners could (and in my opinion should) offer another linebacker prospect. Here are three candidates that I truly believe would seriously consider a Sooner offer and would be really good players in this class.
Jace is from Kingfisher, OK and currently committed to Kansas. Here is a link to his highlight video. I think he could be a really, really good player for the Sooners at OLB
Justice played his high school ball for Wakeland High School in Frisco, TX. He is currently committed to Illinois, but one would think he would seriously consider a Sooner offer. Here is a short clip of him destroying people at OLB
3. Nathan Fox
The Houston native is a vicious hitter (who plays with a neck-roll) who is currently committed to Northwestern. Not sure if he is even in the plans, but the Sooners did take DB Jordan Thomas from Northwestern in the class of 2014. Check out his highlights below.
There are several other options that the Sooners could pursue.
Players will inevitably transfer and the Sooners could position themselves to bring in a player from another school. There are two notable transfers at linebacker already in Zach Whitley (former 4 star from Houston area who committed to UCLA) and EJ Levenberry (FSU transfer who was also high on the Sooners before he committed to the Noles).
2. Convert current players on roster to Linebacker.
There are two obvious candidates for this, and I think that one could actually be very successful. These two players are DJ Ward and Ahmad Thomas. DJ Ward was recruited for a defense the Sooners no longer play (4-3) and Ahmad Thomas (who already pushes 215 lbs.).
DJ Ward would in my opinion make an ideal candidate, because he has the size to fit into the role of OLB in a 3-4. Thomas would need to put on 10-15 pounds before this would become a reality.
In any case the Sooners would be wise to have at minimum 12-13 Linebackers on the roster ready to play by the beginning of the 2015 season.
It will be interesting to see how things shake out over the next week and a half as we countdown to National Signing Day.
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