OU report card: Linebacker

The grades continue at Sooners Illustrated with a look at OU's linebackers.

With the Oklahoma football season in the books, Sooners Illustrated is going to look back at each position group to see how they fared in 2013.

Linebacker

Heading into the season, the question was would OU start to use the position again and that was answered with an emphatic yes.

No position made as huge an improvement from 2012 to 2013 than linebacker under coach Tim Kish. Not even debatable.

The loss of Corey Nelson should have decimated the team, but somehow freshman Dominique Alexander came right on in and did the job. Frank Shannon led the team in tackles and there is no more dynamic of a player than Eric Striker.

Striker's three sacks and forced fumble against Alabama have OU fans salivating at the thought of what he's going to do next season as a junior.

Depth was an issue for this group in 2013, and OU already has three commits for the class and could end up with more before it's all said and done.

Whether it's a 3-3-5 or 3-4 front, the defensive scheme is working and linebackers are a huge reason for the success.

Best moment: Going to South Bend and the Notre Dame game. First series saw Eric Striker clobber Tommy Rees and the ball float right into the arms of Nelson who returned it for a touchdown. Next series had Shannon pick off Rees en route to a 35-21 victory, only OU's second win all time against the Irish.

Worst moment: Not too fair to say, but Texas was a hard one. Even though Alexander and Shannon put up monster tackle numbers, they did so because they weren't always in the right position. It was Alexander's first start so it was understandable but just a horrible time for it to happen.

Sooners Illustrated grade: A-.


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