What 247Sports is worried about at the Sooners

Any time there is a leadership change in a college football program, questions are sure to follow. Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables answered many personnel questions about this team through the transfer portal and its No. 8 recruiting class of 2022.

The spring game gave us a glimpse of what a Brent Venables team will look like, but that was far from a complete product on the field. And so it’s not surprising that in 2022 there are some lingering questions about the Big 12 favorite.

Of course, no team is without worries and that’s something Brad Crawford from 247Sports wants to address. Crawford took a look at the playoff contenders’ biggest concerns and for Oklahoma, it’s the team’s identity that is being questioned. Crawford asks, “What is that?”

The Sooners appeared to lack toughness on defense last season, leading to Oklahoma not winning the Big 12 for the first time in several years. The program hired the right man in defensive guru Brent Venables to fix those problems, and now it’s his job to quickly establish an identity and change mindset in one program designed primarily for big, fast-paced games on the other side of the ball is known. Oklahoma should be fine offensively with Jeff Lebby in charge for a group orchestrated by former UCF star Dillon Gabriel as quarterback, but if that team is elite, Venables’ defensive unit will be the reason. – Crawford, 247Sports

If you’re wondering what Oklahoma football’s identity is, just go back to his inaugural press conference where he laid out his vision for the program’s on-field product.

“We will deploy an exciting, fast, explosive and varied offense combined with a physical, punishing, relentless, suffocating defense,” Venables told the crowd at his induction ceremony.

In his first, and hopefully only, stint as head coach, Brent Venables wasted little time in establishing a culture centered on excellence. “The best is the standard.”

Venables and the Oklahoma Sooners are realistic about what they’re pursuing because Venables was part of building a team that beat the best program in 20 years, the Alabama Crimson Tide. And he and the Clemson Tigers have twice managed to win two national championships.

Learning under two College Football Hall of Fame coaches and another one-day hall destined, Venables spent the last 30 years preparing for his opportunity to run a program.

That’s one of the reasons so many of the Oklahoma Sooners are still high heading into 2022. They’ve had a lot of turnover on both sides of the ball, but the talent base and coaching staff across the country still believe in the Oklahoma Sooners.

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