OU Countdown: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

Talented pass rusher could give Sooners' versatility on defense

During the next two months leading up to the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Sooners Illustrated will breakdown the Oklahoma Sooners’ roster, starting with Dominique Alexander (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Dwayne Orso (No. 99) and the incoming freshmen.

We’ll look at last year’s performance, the best-case scenario for this season – without projecting injuries – and what each player means to the short-term or long-term success of the Sooners.

No. 31 - LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (6-foot-1, 237 pounds)

8 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks

What happened last year: There wasn’t much playing time to go around for Obo at a crowded linebacker position, but when he did get time, Obo turned out to be a pretty special player. He has a skill for pass rush, and eventually, that talent can be unleashed.

Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 3. Obo will get far more of a chance to play this season, and if Oklahoma goes to more of a four-man front, then Obo might have a chance to jump up to the D-line, where his ability as a pass rusher could shine.

Best-case scenario for this season: Right now, Obo sits behind a pair of very talented linebackers – and possibly an exceptional incoming freshman. It would seem highly unlikely that Obo plays his way above Eric Striker and Devante Bond. A little bit more spot duty seems in order, and it’s likely that Obo doubles his stats – six tackles for loss and four sacks.

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