2022 Oklahoma Football Preview | Linebacker Depth Chart Predictions

I’ll be honest. I really like what Oklahoma has at linebacker heading into the 2022 season. I understand that the Sooners lost two outstanding backers to the NFL but there is still plenty of talent in the corps and much of that talent is young, which will pay dividends over the course of several seasons. Despite looking at replacing two of the three starters from 2021, OU should be more than solid in the second level of the defense.

Key Loses

NamePositionCareer Tackles/Sacks
Brian AsamoahWLB179/5
Nik BonittoRush117/18.5

I’ve got four new players in linebacker three-deep. While firmly believe that the starting three will be names familiar to Sooner Nation, there’s also a lot of new blood coming in through the transfer portal and the 2022 recruiting class. T.D. Roof was better than expected in the spring game, and the trio of third-string freshmen could very well be the best linebacking corps in the conference in a few years.

Projected Linebacker Depth Chart

DaShaun White (Sr.)Danny Stutsman (So.)Shane Whitter (Jr.)
T.D. Roof (Sr.)David Ugwoegbu (Sr.)Clayton Smith (So.)
Kip Lewis (Fr.)Kobie McKinzie (Fr.)Jaren Kanak (Fr.)

Impact Player

Oklahoma has a star in Danny Stutsman. The sophomore has all of the tools to eventually see his name on the Butkus watchlist and probably would have worked his way into a starting spot in 2021 had it not been for an injury he suffered early on. That said, the key to success for Oklahoma’s linebacking corps in 2022 is going to be senior DaShaun White. He’s in a battle with T.D. Roof for the starting weakside spot but the fact that he started 12 games last season, and ranked third on the team with 66 tackles should give him an edge in the competition. The key is, White is moving from the middle to the outside. He started two games in 2021 at the weakside position and showed that he has the size (6-0/218) and speed to be a force. White has recorded 169 career tackles at OU.

Final Thought

Oklahoma was just ahead of the middle of the pack, in the Big 12, against the run last season. Allowing 129.1 yards per game, at a clip of 3.8 yards per carry, the Sooners ranked fourth in the conference. That said, they’ll have to be better this year in a league that features several NFL caliber backs. The experience and depth are there for this linebacker corps to challenge Big 12 offenses and with the arrival of Brent Venables this unit should be expected to improve despite the departures of two starters from last year to the NFL.

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