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 Jarvis Baxter (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Marquise Overton (No. 98) 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. 8 – S Kahlil Haughton (6-foot-1, 195 pounds)
8 tackles, 0.5 sacks
What happened last year: In his first year on campus, Haughton saw minimal time. He wasn’t going to work into the rotation last season, but the fact that he saw a handful of snaps – and was even called upon to rush the quarterback on occasion – bodes well for his first-year development.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 4. Haughton has been moved around a bit. He’s seen a little bit of time as both safety positions as well as some practice snaps at nickel behind Will Johnson. Ahmad Thomas will graduate after this season, and the Sooners will need a new free safety. Haughton will likely have the first crack at that opening. Haughton should get more reps on special teams this season and might even work his way into the secondary rotation if Oklahoma loads the field with defensive backs. He’ll get enough late-game snaps to show the coaching staff what he’s capable of moving forward.
Best-case scenario for this season: Haughton won’t start at any point this season, but if he ends the year as Will Johnson’s back-up at nickel back and Thomas’ at free safety, he and the Sooners will have to feel pretty good. Haughton came in with the best safety class in Bob Stoops’ tenure at Oklahoma. In some ways, the group has to start living up to that potential now. Next year, they have to be that good. Haughton’s perfect season is being one step away from making serious contributions – if not just making them already.