Oklahoma can’t seem to move away from bad news leading up to the Peach Bowl. Just days after the news broke that three players are facing suspension, for a failed drug test, starting safety Delarrin Turner-Yell suffered a broken collarbone.
Oklahoma’s latest setback will put Justin Broiles in the spotlight as the redshirt sophomore from Oklahoma City steps in to Alex Grinch’s starting 11 on the Speed D.
Turner-Yell is a former Top 25 recruit at the safety position who is responsible for 75 total tackles, a forced fumble, and three pass breakups this season. Needless to say, Broiles has some pretty big shoes to fill.
A former 4-star recruit, Broiles has played sparingly in 2019. Recording just 15 tackles on the season, he’s appeared in all 13 games this season. That’s not to say he hasn’t made any sort of impact this season. His four-tackle performance at Kansas State was his best in 2019 but he also came up with some big plays against Texas at the Cotton Bowl.
With all due respect to the greatest rivalry in college football, this isn’t the Red River Rivalry that Broiles is being thrust into. This is the College Football Playoff and there is zero room for error.
The bottom line is that the loss of Turner-Yell is quite a bit more significant that that of Ronnie Perkins (suspended) which means there’s a lot more pressure on Broiles as the Sooners prepare to face the top offense in the nation.
Coming out of high school, ESPN had Broiles as the top-ranked player in the state of Oklahoma, so we know that the talent is there. An early enrollee in 2017, Broiles has been three spring and fall football camps, so we know that the fundamentals are there. Both of those will have to come together, in a big way, in Atlanta for the Broiles and the Sooners.
It won’t just be Oklahoma fans watching him either, you can guarantee that attacking the safety spot just became a part of the LSU offensive game plan. That means it’ll most likely be a big night one way of the other for Justin Broiles.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland