One of the best defensive backs Bob Stoops has ever had, no. 15 Zack Sanchez enters his junior season with a lot of hype. With eight interceptions in his two seasons as an underclassmen, you can probably understand why. The Sooners struggled defending the pass last season, but Sanchez still had six interceptions and thirteen pass deflections in his sophomore season.
Sanchez is most famous for his interception against A.J. McCarron in the 2013 Sugar Bowl and the pick six against Texas in the following season. This year, with some more help from OU's now more experienced defensive backs, he should have another season filled with interceptions. In a pass happy Big 12 conference having a corner like Sanchez can help win close games.
In 2013, Sanchez finished as an FWAA Freshman All-American and was a first team preseason conference All-American this season. Phil Steele also named him a third team All-American in his preseason magazine for this upcoming season.
Linebacker Eric Striker was the only other Sooner defender to be named to the magazine's All-American list. If the Sooners want to compete for a Big 12 championship this season, it will likely take strong performances from both players.