Oklahoma will miss sack leader Auston English, likely out for Saturday’s game against Baylor after suffering a broken bone in his ankle in the win over Texas A&M.
At least for the Sooners, there was no missing out on English out of little Canadian, Texas.
“I don’t know that he was widely recruited, other than us, but we loved the way he played and the athlete that he was,” OU coach Bob Stoops said Monday during the Big 12 coaches teleconference. “That’s the biggest factor with Auston, the way he changes direction, his toughness, he can run, all of it.”
English has been a force at defensive end for the Sooners, piling up 9 ½ sacks as part of his 34 tackles.
But Stoops said English’s athleticism could have led him to play a number of positions.
“He could be a standup outside linebacker,” Stoops said. “He could be an inside linebacker. He could be a tight end or fullback for us. The guy could do anything.
“When we recruited him, we saw all that. ‘Here’s a guy who has a great motor that really is a good athlete and is going to fit in for us somewhere.’ And he’s been that. A joy to coach every day.”
After playing for the Sooners his first year on campus, English redshirted a year ago, building strength. Stoops said he never doubted English would make an impact.
“I said before the season, I told people, ‘This is a guy you need to watch,’” Stoops said. “He played for us as a true freshman. He was in our rotation, our two deep. When you’re playing for us as a true freshman, you’re pretty good.
“He’s had a year to lift, get stronger, get more physical, to add to what he already had. We anticipated him playing well.”
More from Stoops and the teleconference:
On maintaining consistency as others – like Nebraska – experience highs and lows:
“For us, we count on our structure throughout the year and how we go about our business.