The numbers weren’t quite there, but he was causing problems, seemingly just a half step away from making the big impact. And one message was definitely clear that the best was yet to come for the one known as Obo.
A year later, and it sure feels like Obo has turned that corner. The issue for linebackers coach Tim Kish is trying to figure out how to get him out there more.
“We’re trying to find ways to get him on the field,” Kish said. “He’s such a dynamic player. He has been very effective out there and will continue to get more playing time.”
OU is starting to load up on pass rushing specialists. To go with Obo, the Sooners can also use seniors Devante Bond and Eric Striker. Somebody like Obo can be a change of pace, and if OU chooses to rotate them off the edge, it should help make them all fresher in the long run.
Obo has put on a considerable amount of weight, too, which should make him even more effective standing up and coming off the edge.
The return of Frank Shannon means a lot to Oklahoma and its group of linebackers. It’s one reason why nobody is panicking right now.
He brings leadership in the locker room and on the field and gives the unit some depth it hasn’t had in a while in Norman.
DeBerry is still recovering from a shoulder injury suffered during his senior year of high school, while McGinnis injured his back trying to get too big too fast when he arrived in Norman.
Linebacker coach Tim Kish said he’s not worried about either one of them in the long run.
“Arthur loves football, loves being a Sooner, loves being at OU,” Kish said. “He hurt himself, trying to do too much. That can happen.”
Kish said it’s not just a problem for young guys, saying veterans have that same problem sometimes trying to do too much too soon.
Kish said DeBerry just has to be smart about he uses his shoulder and is slowly coming along and starting to make a difference.
Sophomore fullback Dimitri Flowers brought up DeBerry when mentioning some of the best young guys he’s going against. He said DeBerry is quick off the edge and fast overall.
It’s possible a redshirt season is in store for them if their health does not improve, but the Sooners future at linebacker looks a lot brighter with the arrival of both of them.