According to a report from SoonerScoop.com (which was later confirmed by The Oklahoman and The Tulsa World), the Oklahoma Sooners will lose Ricky DeBerry following the spring semester as he intends to leave OU as a graduate transfer. DeBerry is a former blue-chip linebacker recruit, but he was never able to break through on defense and ended up switching to H-back during the 2017 season. He has been granted a full release by Oklahoma.
Update from earlier tweet on Ricky DeBerry. Source close to family tells @BPrzybylo DeBerry will leave #Sooners as a graduate transfer after semester. Still not expected to be any restrictions on his transfer. Would make him eligible immediately.— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) February 1, 2018
DeBerry, a native of Mechanicsville, Va., was rated as the No. 2 ILB prospect in the nation coming out of Atlee High School in 2015 and chose Oklahoma over the likes of Alabama, USC and a host of other big-time programs. After redshirting, DeBerry played in six games as a redshirt freshman in 2016 and earned a start at outside linebacker against Kansas. There was hope for him to finally make his mark as a redshirt sophomore, but he failed to gain ground in the spring and then missed all of fall camp with mono. As a result, DeBerry never saw the field in 2017 and ended up moving to H-back in early October. That appears to have been a last-ditch effort to find a role at OU, and it unfortunately appears to have not worked out.
It’s always disappointing when a player with such promise fails to hit his mark, but I hope he’s able to find a good situation elsewhere. Fortunately he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining and will be able to play immediately, and I hope he takes advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.