Projecting Who's Staying and Who's Leaving from Oklahoma After Bowl Game
The first season of the Brent Venables era at Oklahoma has come to a close with a 35-32 loss to Florida State in the Cheez-It Bowl.
While the Sooners wrap up a 6-7 campaign, they're heading into an important offseason. After a 2022 campaign that didn't go as hoped, they need to stockpile talent for the future as the program readies to leave the Big 12 for the vaunted SEC.
No matter if that move happens in 2024 or 2025, the priority is clear: Pack the roster as best as possible, as quickly as possible.
There will be plenty of changes happening in Norman over the next few months, including notable transfers in and out, incoming recruits and outgoing seniors.
Who's Probably Leaving?
Although the eligibility pause in 2020 has complicated how to look at "seniors" in college football, some players have exhausted their allowable years. This group includes key linebacker DaShaun White, defensive back Justin Broiles, right guard Chris Murray, tight end Brayden Willis and longtime punter Michael Turk, among others.
Anton Harrison, OT
Oklahoma began leaning on Anton Harrison at left tackle in 2020, and he's since become the full-time starter on the coveted edge. Harrison, who landed first-team All-Big 12 recognition this season, has declared for the NFL draft. B/R's draft crew ranked him as the No. 81 prospect.
More NFL Draft Departures
Right tackle Wanya Morris is also headed to the NFL, along with running back Eric Gray and defensive tackle Jalen Redmond. Gray earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after totaling 1,595 yards in 2022, while Redmond finished second on the defense with 10 tackles for loss. Wide receiver Marvin Mims is likely to follow suit, as well.
Oklahoma has seen a wave of outbound players, which is unsurprising after the first year of a new coaching staff concludes. Notable names include former top recruits in wideout Theo Wease, quarterback Nick Evers and edge-rusher Clayton Smith.
Who's Probably Staying?
Dillon Gabriel, QB
Expectations were high for Dillon Gabriel, who transferred from UCF after two prolific years (and one injury-shortened campaign). However, a brutal hit against TCU resulted in a concussion and preceded the Sooners' season going off the rails. He still totaled 3,238 yards and 29 touchdowns in the regular season, so he's the clear favorite to be QB1 next year.
Top Underclassmen on Defense
While several players will head to the NFL, Oklahoma has a few building blocks who aren't yet draft-eligible. Danny Stutsman finished as OU's leading tackler, while Ethan Downs recorded the most stops for loss. Plus, safety Billy Bowman Jr. played well in his first season as a starter.
Woodi Washington, CB
Given he's been a key three-year contributor for the Sooners, Woodi Washington has more than enough experience to test the NFL draft. However, he's not viewed as a strong NFL prospect. That could change with a final season at OU.
Who's on the Way?
Dasan McCullough, LB/S
The earlier top transfer commitment was from Dasan McCullough, a standout linebacker as a true freshman at Indiana. He collected 49 tackles with 6.5 stops for loss and four sacks in 2022. He is bound for Norman alongside his brother, Daeh, a 4-star in the 2023 class.
Austin Stogner, TE
Welcome back Austin Stogner, who left Oklahoma last offseason to join former OU assistant Shane Beamer at South Carolina. Stogner caught 20 passes for 210 yards in 2022 but is reuniting with the Sooners as a grad transfer.
The Denton Duo
While the Sooners also added 5-star edge-rusher Adepoju Adebawore, they landed 5-star teammates Jackson Arnold (quarterback) and Peyton Bowen (safety). They attended Guyer in Denton, Texas, and are both top 15 prospects nationally. Oklahoma managed to flip Bowen from Notre Dame and Oregon in one of the wildest stories of the early signing period.