OU Class of 2014: Linebacker

After struggling to find linebackers for the 2013 class, that was not an issue for OU for the 2014 group.

Oklahoma finished its Class of 2014 with 26 signees and the top-rated Scout class for the Big 12 conference.

Over the next week, Sooners Illustrated is going to look back at the class and let the OU coaches help explain why fans should be excited.


Tay Evans

The son of former OU basketball player Bobby Joe Evans, all it was about was when OU would make the offer. A shoulder injury didn't let him showcase his skills as a junior, but he delivered and then some as a senior in helping Allen to another state championship. The hope is he grows into that cornerstone middle linebacker.

Curtis Bolton

Nicknamed "Buzzy," Bolton was a surprise addition to OU back in August. Despite having never seen the campus until January, he remained 100 percent with the Sooners. After seeing the campus, all doubts were erased. OU is hoping he can grow into a solid middle linebacker, and he was an absolute force as a senior.

Devante Bond

Originally signed with Miami (Fla.) for the Class of 2013, Bond had some academic troubles and was back on the board. The Sooners took full advantage of the situation, and Bond has been on campus since January. There is no question OU is hoping to make Bond a bigger version of what Eric Striker was for the team in 2013.

Coaches corner

"We have linebackers Curtis Bolton, Tay Evans and Devonte Bond. Curtis and Tay are more inside linebackers are Mike and Will. Devonte is a Sam or Jack who is a little bigger and can lineup against tight ends, but he is very athletic and can rush the passer.

"Tay is an excellent athlete at linebacker. He reminds me, he's similar to Corey Nelson in the way he looks and runs. He's smooth that way. It's neat. Bobby has been very positive." – OU coach Bob Stoops

"He's got (Eric) Striker-like speed on the edge. We're going to play him as an outside backer to start with. He's got exceptional athletic ability too. He had 3.0 sacks in the all-star game they had the other day in California. He also gives us the versatility to play him on or off the line of scrimmage. His quickness and first step are just like Striker's.

"He's an exceptional pass rusher. He's athletic enough to drop into space. He plays with a great motor. He loves the game of football. Physically, he's going to be the type of standup outside backer that's going to help progress that position along in my opinion." – OU linebackers coach Tim Kish

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