On the defensive side of the ball, the Oklahoma Sooners left much to desired. Now with a few changes implemented in terms of coaching staff and schematics, is the program primed for a turnaround? That’s a difficult question to answer at this point in time. However, here are three defensive players primed for a breakout season.
Jalen Redmond | Redshirt Freshman| Linebacker
Limited throughout the duration of his first year on campus, Jalen Redmond appeared in three games. The number allowed the linebacker to gain valuable experience while retaining the year of eligibility. Yet, the concern moving forward remains health. Redmond flashed potential time and time again on the field. Now participating fully in practices, the young budding star remains a perfect fit for Alex Grinch’s defensive. With the potential to become a household name, Redmond should thrive in the upcoming year.
Brendan Radley-Hiles | Sophomore | Defensive Back
Possibly the most gifted player on the field in terms of instincts, Brendan Radley-Hiles stepped on to campus with plenty of hype. For various reasons, the young talent failed to live up to the potential. Entering a sophomore season, Radley-Hiles began competing for playing time with Tre Norwood at the nickleback position. After suffering an injury, Norwood must reliquish the role to another player like Radley-Hiles. As depth remains a concern, Radley-Hiles role likely increases throughout the upcoming season. If the kid delivers like we know he can, he’ll leave a major impact.
Ronnie Perkins | Sophomore | Defensive Lineman
In a debut season, Ronnie Perkins earned Freshman All-American Honors. Knowing that, one could easily argue that the now sophomore already experience a breakout year. At 6’3 248, Perkins possesses the ability to move into a new category under Alex Grinch. Recording a team high five sacks a year ago, expect that number to rise as Perkins develops into an elite pass rusher. The tools are in place, Perkins simply needs to be unleashed after sitting in a strength and condition program for over a year now.