OU spring review: Linebackers

There aren't a set number of spots on the field for the Sooners' deep unit

Spring football is done at Oklahoma. The Sooners were able to get everything they could from 14 practices and the spring game and now the focus goes toward the 2015 season.

So what did we learn? Sooners Illustrated is going to take a position-by-position approach to see what we know now (or what we don’t know) going forward at OU.

Linebackers

There’s a lot of talk about the linebackers in the spring. Devante Bond is going to be a real playmaker. Jordan Evans has put on immense amounts – and he has – but lost none of his speed. Eric Striker is still Eric Striker.

But Dominique Alexander didn’t play and obviously neither did Frank Shannon.

Throw in Obo Okoronkwo, Tay Evans and Curtis Bolton, who have all shown marked improvement according to the coaching staff, and the Sooners’ linebackers should come out to be pretty deep.

The biggest problem is that there’s no guarantee of how many linebackers will be on the field at once for the Sooners. It could be two, it could be three or it could be four. Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops could call on a wide-range of formations –everything from the 3-4 to the 4-2-5 and back to the 4-3.

Bond and Striker seem like they’ll be the first two options.

“There’s a constant maneuver of players trying to get them in position to do what they do best,” Stoops said. “. . . Playing with Striker and playing with Devante, they are two of our best players. Devante Bond can play. He’s a tremendous football player.”

Stoops added that making sure Bond is on the field is a priority.

“We don’t have enough good ones,” Stoops said. “We need them on the field. That’s the part. Eric is such a unique player, but he’s a specialized player.”

With defensive back Steven Parker settling in to the nickel position, there won’t likely be a chance for Striker to move out to the hybrid position.

The logjam will have to break some time and the order still seems to be in question. Right now, it might look something like this: Striker, Bond, Jordan Evans, Alexander, Obo, Shannon, Tay Evans, Bolton.

What it is at the end of preseason camp is anyone’s guess.


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