Season OU 11: No. 9 LB Jordan Evans

Linebacker makes immediate impact in first season as a starter

For the next 10 days Sooners Illustrated will count down the top 11 players of the season for Oklahoma as voted by Bob Przybylo and Justin Hite during the season.

No. 9 linebacker Jordan Evans (35 points)

Turmoil surrounded the beginning of the season for Evans.

He wasn’t supposed to start until Frank Shannon was removed from the team for disciplinary reasons. In his first start, he lasted only a few plays before being ejected after a targeting penalty.

Still just a true sophomore, Evans could have broken down. Instead, he came back with a vengeance and a rare blend of speed and size.

He made two game-changing plays against Tennessee to help turn the tide in the Sooners’ victory. Evans finished as Oklahoma’s second-leading tackler – behind only his fellow middle linebacker Dominique Alexander.

Evans came on quickly in the rankings, scoring all his points in the first seven games, including a pair of second-place showings against TCU and Texas. He made 87 tackles – six for loss – and tied for a team-high with two forced fumbles.

“We just came with how we wanted to play: With more tenacity, with more emotion, with more aggressiveness,” Evans said after Oklahoma’s victory against Iowa State. “We let the guys up front do some different things and go attack more. We let me and Dom run free more as well.”

Although undersized, Evans developed during the year. He improved his pass coverage and showed strength in run support.

Teaming with Alexander for another year should provide the Sooners with an even better defensive nucleus.

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