Part 1 of Who Needs to Step Up discussed the players we believe need to step up on offense in order for the Sooners to have a successful 2015 season. Part 2 will discuss the defense. Here are several players that MUST step up in order for the Sooners to improve on what was a lackluster defense (especially against the pass) in 2014.
There is not currently an upperclassmen at linebacker that even comes close to the talent that Jordan Evans possesses. He has the size 6-3/242 to be a wrecking ball at linebacker. He showed flashes of dominance last year, but he will need to take the next step in order to help solidify what was a pretty pedestrian group of linebackers last season. The same could be said for Dominique Alexander (although I feel Frank Shannon will take his spot).
Romar looks to be the next in line to fill the shoes left by Jordan Phillips' departure to the NFL. Romar is built like a fireplug 6-0/294 and will help to anchor a rebuilt line that looks to continue its success against the offensive crazy Big 12. Romar must have a big year.
Will the Charles Tapper of 2013 please show back up. He is an athletic freak, but disappeared far to often last season. The senior to be will need to have a great year if the Sooner defense is to be successful.
4. The ENTIRE defensive backfield
No more nicknames, no more excuses. It's time for Zach Sanchez, Jordan Thomas, Steven Parker, Ahmad Thomas, and Hatari Byrd to bounce back from what was a dreadful season. I believe some of it was scheme and losing confidence, but in the end players must make plays. JUCO transfer Will Johnson should help with not only depth, but could find himself solidly in the mix as the season gets closer. This position will also receive a major influx at talent (especially at safety as Kahlil Haughton, Will Sunderland, and Prentice McKinney could easily find themselves in the mix opposite of Steven Parker).
The defensive is a HUGE question mark going into the 2015 season. Who do you think needs to step up?