Breaking down OU's class: LB

Ready for signing day? Sooners Illustrated is going to help you get to know all of OU's commits just days before the big day.

Signing day is almost here. New to the recruiting game or just want a refresher of what has already happened, here is a look at Oklahoma’s class heading into Wednesday.

Linebacker

Atlee (Va.) High LB Ricky DeBerry (6-2, 240, No. 3 OLB)

The Intel: Wanna know how important DeBerry’s commitment was to Oklahoma? It finished fourth on the Sooners’ Best Moments of 2014.

DeBerry, a U.S. Army All-American, was not only the Sooners’ first linebacker commit of the 2015 class, but right now, he’s the only one.

DeBerry came into his commitment ceremony with a top eight, but made Oklahoma the clear favorite by placing a Sooners’ hat right in front of his chair.

If Oklahoma could only get one, they got one of the best. DeBerry is the No. 25 overall prospect, and despite being 240 pounds, which is heavy compared to most high school linebackers, DeBerry has speed and quickness.

Right now, he’s primarily a pass rusher – similar to the mold of Eric Striker, just a little bit bigger. He’s still learning to play linebacker after taking his hand off the ground and dropping back for the first time as a senior.

DeBerry didn’t become a top-rated prospect by accident. He has all the tools: Speed, power and great quickness off the ball.

What might be his most important attribute is his instinctiveness. Watch him on film and he always seems to find the ball – sometimes diagnosing plays before they even develop.

Warren Easton Charter (La.) High LB Arthur McGinnis (6-2, 228, No. 24 MLB)

The Intel: It seemed that Oklahoma has had no greater heartbreak on the recruiting trail than at middle linebacker. Anthony Wheeler. Darrin Kirkland. Josh Smith. That was until McGinnis, who is the No. 24 middle linebacker and runs a 4.47, committed to the Sooners less than 24 hours before National Signing Day.

Arizona has set itself apart as the leader for McGinnis, who made his final visit to Oklahoma this past weekend, but it was clear that his visit and time spent with co-defensive coordinator Jerry Montgomery was enough.

This was as close to a must-have commit as there could have been for Oklahoma, which nearly went into the 2015 season with just 10 linebackers on scholarship. The Sooners started four.

McGinnis likely will immediately serve as a back-up in the middle and could possible move into a pass-rushing role on the outside in late-down situations.

Signing day surprise? With McGinnis in the fold, there shouldn’t be any major surprises.


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