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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Levi Draper heads to the transfer portal

The linebacker out of Collinsville, Okla., is the latest defensive player to exit the program.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Chalk up another defensive player from the Oklahoma Sooners to the transfer portal. This time it’s redshirt sophomore linebacker Levi Draper who’s searching for greener pastures away from Norman.

A native of Collinsville, Okla., Draper arrived at OU as an early enrollee in the 2017 recruiting class. At the time, signing the four-star prospect at inside linebacker was viewed as a big in-state win in recruiting for the Sooners.

Once Draper hit campus, however, he struggled to find a niche in the OU linebacking corps. Health issues wiped out his ‘17 campaign and forced him to take a redshirt. He played sparingly the following two seasons, primarily contributing on special teams. He registered a total of three tackles in 2019.

Draper joins LB Ryan Jones and defensive lineman Troy James as recent transfers out of the program while coordinator Alex Grinch continues overhauling the OU defense. All three were part of the ‘17 class. Six of the 14 scholarship defensive recruits from that group have left the team.

Draper would have found himself competing this offseason for a spot in the rotation at inside linebacker for OU in 2020. He faced an uphill climb for playing time, though, with returning starter DaShaun White and contributors like Caleb Kelly, Bryan Mead and Brian Asamoah returning this fall. An outside linebacker also may slide inside this offseason, given OU’s depth at outside linebacker, and the Sooners landed three-star LBs Shane Whitter and Brynden Walker in the ‘20 class.

Draper will have two seasons of eligibility remaining at his next destination.