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. 96 – DE Dalton Rodriguez (6-foot-6, 232 pounds)
What happened last year: After committing to Oklahoma out of Tulsa Union, enrolling at Tulsa, being kicked off the Golden Hurricane football team and walking on with the Sooners, Rodriguez finally found a home and made the move to outside linebacker with Oklahoma. He shined at the spring game and showed a strong knack for the position despite never playing it before this offseason.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 2. Even with all those travels and a hearty amount of progress, Rodriguez is still pretty far down the depth chart. In fact, he’s probably not even on the Sooners’ three-deep roster.
Best-case scenario for this season: Rodriguez has a chance to earn a few reps at linebacker behind Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, but the more likely pathway to snaps is shining in short-yard and goal line packages when the Sooners go to a four-linebacker look. Rodriguez has the body type to play “Jack” linebacker, but he’ll have to shock a few people by passing Obo, Mark Jackson, Caleb Kelly and Ricky DeBerry. That would probably shock a lot more than a few people.