OU was bringing in a quintet of defensive backs, who are already starting to make their presence be known.
All that being said, it might be the defensive lineman from Jenks (Okla.) High that’s making the most noise. Defensive tackle Marquise Overton isn’t guaranteed playing time just yet, but he’s off to one heck of a start.
“He’s dominating,” defensive end Charles Tapper said. “He’s a big presence up front. He’s shown that he’s ready to play and hopefully we might get to see him in the fall.”
Right now it’s still in that hope stage. It’s not like OU is hurting at the position with veterans like Matthew Romar and Jordan Wade both returning. But Overton has made a big enough splash to warrant earning some of those major reps during camp.
The learning curve of going from high school to college can be awfully tough and that seems to be the one thing that is not slowing down Overton like it seems to be with other young linemen.
“I’m pleasantly surprised by him,” first-year defensive line coach Diron Reynolds said. “He picks things up quickly. He tries to fix things that are broke. Tell him one time, and he hangs onto it.”
Overton’s story was an interesting one. He committed to OU a day after the Sooners win in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. However, back in January, there were real questions regarding his academic standing, and it appeared like he might have to go the junior college route.
Overton was adamant he could get the job done, and that’s exactly what he did in qualifying academically and now trying to make that impact on the field.
Reynolds, obviously, didn’t have much contact at all with Overton until he arrived at camp. Overton was recruited by former coach Jerry Montgomery, but the transition has been seamless.
“I didn’t watch tape on any of them (freshmen),” Reynolds said. “They weren’t already on the team so it’s my job to mold them.”
Molding is a lot easier when someone has those natural instincts necessary at defensive tackle. Overton has that, and Reynolds credits Overton’s wrestling background for some of that success.
Overton won the heavyweight state championship in wrestling in the spring.
“Those guys playing inside with a wrestling background know how to shift their weight and play with a low position,” Reynolds said. “You have to teach that in football, but they already have that. You just have to tweak it a little bit.”
Not a lot of tweaking has been deemed necessary for Overton. The Scout 300 prospect is another in the long line of Jenks prospects to come to Norman and looks like he could become another success story from being a Trojan to being a Sooner.
It wouldn’t shock his one-time foe, Jordan Evans, who plays against Overton as a sophomore in the state championship game in 2012.
“I remember I took a snap in the backfield, and he was already in my face and blew me up,” Evans said. “I was like this kid is a sophomore? It’s nice to know that he got recruited here, and he’s doing the same thing that he did in high school.”