Welcome back to another edition of our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! The Oklahoma Sooners are set to open the upcoming season in just 24 days. Speaking of which, I want to highlight an OU player who is poised to take a big step forward on the field with a chance to become an impact player. I’m talking about redshirt sophomore linebacker Brian Asamoah!
Brian Asamoah is an A++ post-tackle celebration artist. The open field tackle is quite refreshing, too. pic.twitter.com/doN4Id75RE— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) October 14, 2019
Standing at 6’1, 230 pounds, Asamoah is solidly built yet quick enough to produce in Alex Grinch’s defensive front seven. Coming out of St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus, Ohio (Buckeyes territory) in ‘18, his explosiveness is what immediately stood out on film. Fast-forward to his debut season in ‘19, and he’s clearly shown that his elite closing speed has translated successfully at the next level. Amazingly, his agility allows him to turn potentially positive plays into tackles-for-loss, and when he reaches the ball carrier, he delivers the boom.
In his first season at OU, inside linebackers coach Brian Odom helped Asamoah develop his ability to diagnose plays pre-snap, and as he continues to progress and grow in his role, he can let his instincts and natural athleticism take over.
A great example of the flashes Asamoah showed last season came at UCLA. Once he saw the QB drop back instead of hand the ball off for a run, he gunned it right up the middle. Though his blitz came from well beyond the line of scrimmage, his speed made up for the difference and then some, even against an athletic dual-threat like the Bruins’ Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
In 2019, Asamoah saw action in 13 games as a reserve, totaling 23 tackles, 3.5 TFLs and a pair of sacks. He also contributed significantly on special teams, although his overall role somewhat faded in the second half of the season. Going forward, look for him to challenge for a starting role in 2020. With the unfortunate loss to Caleb Kelly earlier this month, an opening at the WILL linebacker spot is now up for grabs. As Asamoah enters his third season in the program, his talent and experience give him the inside track to win the job. Either way, expect to see a lot more of No. 24 flying around the field this fall.
Hard work, my grind real. pic.twitter.com/iWyMeJjxQ7— Brian Asamoah II (@BrianAsamoah2) June 28, 2020
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