Anytime there’s a transition of leadership with a college football program, questions are sure to follow. Oklahoma Sooners’ head coach Brent Venables answered a lot of the personnel questions about this team through the transfer portal and his No. 8 2022 recruiting class.
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 there are some lingering questions about the Big 12 favorite heading into 2022.
Of course, no team is without its worries and that’s what Brad Crawford of 247Sports looks to address. Crawford took a look at the biggest worries facing playoff contenders and for Oklahoma, it’s the identity of the team that’s come into question. Crawford asks, “what is it?”
The Sooners seemed to lack toughness on defense last season, leading to the first time Oklahoma failed to win the Big 12 in several years. The program hired the right man to fix those issues in defensive guru Brent Venables and now his job from him is to quickly establish an identity and change the mindset at a program primarily known for big plays at a fast pace on the other side of the ball . Oklahoma should be fine offensively with Jeff Lebby calling shots for a group orchestrated by former UCF star Dillon Gabriel at quarterback, but if this team is elite, Venables’ unit of defense will be the reason. – Crawford, 247Sports
If you’re wondering what the identity of Oklahoma football is, just go back to his opening press conference where he laid out his vision for the on-field product of the program.
“We will employ an exciting, fast, explosive and diverse offense, combined with a physical, punishing, relentless, suffocating defense,” Venables told the crowd at his introduction ceremony.
In his first, and hopefully only, head coaching gig, Brent Venables has wasted little time establishing a culture that is focused on excellence. “Best is the standard.”
Venables and the Oklahoma Sooners are realistic in what they’re chasing because Venables was a part of building a team that beat the best program of the last 20 years, the Alabama Crimson Tide. And he and the Clemson Tigers did it twice to win two National Championships.
Learning under two College Football Hall of Fame coaches and another that’s destined for the hall one day, Venables has been preparing for his opportunity to lead a program for the last 30 years.
That’s part of the reason that so many are still high on the Oklahoma Sooners heading into 2022. They’ve had a ton of turnover on both sides of the ball, but the talent base and the coaching staff have those around the country still believing in the Oklahoma Sooners.
Contact/Follow us @SoonersWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Oklahoma news, notes, and opinions. Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.