Sports Illustrated compiled a list of what they believe to be the best college football players heading into the 2017 season. With a few recognizable names, the Oklahoma Sooners land four inside the top 100. Kicking things off, the first player on the defensive side of the ball ranks in at…
No. 88 | OGBONNIA OKORONKWO
As a first year starter, Okoronkwo attempted to fill a void in the pass rush attack from the linebacker position. Recording 84 total tackles, the linebacker collected 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks. The numbers move the now senior to 13 career sacks. Standing fourth on Oklahoma’s All-Time Sack Leaderboard at the Linebacker Position, Okoronkwo has a pretty lofty expectations sitting on his shoulders.
No. 64 | JORDAN THOMAS
Bursting onto the scene late during a freshman campaign, Thomas quickly began to turn heads. With momentum building into a sophomore season, the corner earned the title of the Sooners’ best lock down defender. Now with back-to-back All-Big 12 Selections under his belt, Thomas enters as a senior and leader in the secondary. Continuing to get better with each snap, Thomas will be leaned on heavily in the pass happy Big 12 Conference.
No. 32 | ORLANDO BROWN
Switching things up by signing with the Oklahoma Sooners, Brown seemed destined for greatness. Earning All-American honors as a sophomore, the offensive lineman anchors possibly the best unit in the conference. A sizable force, this offensive tackle helped unleash the rushing attack many witnessed last season. He’ll once again continue to climb the board as Brown hones his craft in the trenches.
No. 2 | BAKER MAYFIELD
Continuously finding himself in the Heisman conversation over the past two years, there’s no denying this kid remains one of the best in the nation. Producing a 70.9% completion rate, the quarterback must now find a new go to receiver. However, that was the case last season as Mayfield marched up the field to 11.1 yards per attempt. Doing the heavy lifting, SI dug up the last time a player produced such numbers — Michael Vick in 1999.