According to Jake Trotter, the end of year All-Big 12 Defensive Team has featured an Oklahoma Sooner each year since 2000. It speaks to the level of recruitment the program sustained over the course of Bob Stoops tenure. Looking forward, the staff on the defensive side of the ball continue to reel in big time recruits like Brendan Radley-Hiles.
Turning heads since arriving on campus, the true freshman earned the label of Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in the preseason. Clearly, lofty expectations are being placed on the incoming freshman. But let’s not forget, Radley-Hiles has yet to play in a collegiate game at this point in time.
Despite Radley-Hiles earning the honor, not a single defensive player from Oklahoma is featured as a member of the preseason All-Big 12 Defensive Team. To put this in perspective, Texas Tech — two years removed from taking home the title of the nation’s worst defense — placed three players on the preseason list. Struggling a year ago does not bode well for the returning members of the defense. Yet, it’s a perception the program would like to challenge come Fall.
Expect a few leaders to emerge throughout the duration of the 2018 campaign. I’d even venture out to say one — if not more — will make the end-of-year list.