The linebacker group could be a bit thin, especially with Saturday’s announcement that junior Frank Shannon — the team’s leading tackler last year — is dealing with “personal issues.” Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops didn’t sound confident at all that Shannon will be back, meaning sophomore Jordan Evans likely enters the starting lineup. The former Norman North standout looked good Saturday.
Redshirt freshman Ogbonnia Okoronkwo picked off a pass and returned it 39 yards to set up a touchdown. Even sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Wade intercepted a pass.
While lots of questions persist regarding the Sooners’ defensive backfield, the guys up front appear to be in good shape for 2014, even without Shannon.
3. Dimitri Flowers is going to be special.
All spring, coaches and teammates have praised the freshman fullback as the next Trey Millard, leaving Flowers with big shoes to fill and facing sky-high expectations.
If there’s any doubt, though, that the Sooners are sincere with that praise, it was squashed almost immediately Saturday. Knight looked for Flowers on his first three pass attempts, and he finished with four receptions for 40 yards.
“It is what we have seen from him all spring,” Stoops said. “He is a natural player out there, and he fits in right away right out of high school. He is only going to get stronger and bigger, which will help him. Has a natural feel for the game and is a very bright young man, picking up on schemes and everything.
“As you can see, a player very similar to Trey in how versatile he is.”