1. Will

    Good stuff Ian, thanks!

    Very excited to see the Will Grier era kick off. Guys like Gibson and Durante should see catchall balls a lot more often next year. I’m encouraged to see they’ve only gone after one Juno lineman, Wickline son, in recruiting. That makes me think they like the possible replacements on the line.

    Really worried about the Dline and corners but with what they have coming back at LB (including Brendan Ferns!) and safety the defense should be able to hold steady. The LB core I’m particular should be much more athletic. Some combo of White, Ferns and Xavier Preston (roughly 6’2, 230-240) should give them a better outside pass rush than they had this year. Might be a long time before WVU starts a CB they recruited out of high school again.

    • ianaboyd

      I forgot about ferns, I guess he replaces Arndt, who I was a big fan of. Long and the other guy inside I thought were pretty solid. I’m guessing they’re loading up on JUCO corners?

      • Will

        You know, looking over the roster, it looks like I overstated the JuCo corner thing. Elijah Battle and Mike Daniels are the only JuCo guys CBs currently on the roster that I see. And although I expect them to start, that leaves the window open for younger guys.

        Still, I expect a grad transfer and they have another JuCo CB committed for this year (not sure if he is ready to play for 2017 though, even Douglas wasn’t. I hope you do a run down of Big 12 recruiting classes again this year, that was great last year.). I suppose it is possible the Adams twins play this year, but I doubt either one starts.

        Arndt was great this year but at times, especially against OU but more generally when pass rushing, his limited size and athleticism (former walk-on) held him back even when he was in the right position. I doubt they replace him with anyone as football smart as he is but a guy like Ferns or Preston has 25 pounds and 3 inches on him with better speed.

        • ianaboyd

          Definitely doing the class breakdowns again, need to start working on that again soon.

          I thought the best thing about Arndt was his change of direction and relentless motor to the ball. Dude made a ton of tackles just by being a dog and always chasing the ball.

          Hopefully for y’alls sake Gibson will have some of the younger kids up to snuff in his coverages and techniques. I think his playbook is extensive enough that he’ll have enough to work with to make for a good unit. Especially if they get better play up front this year.

  2. Sooner Keith

    Honestly, Jordan Evans was almost more of a liability than a productive LB for the first half of this season. After the Texas Tech game, he really turned around and became what we all hoped he would be. He will be missed. However, having Beal back for a second year should help offset whatever inexperience may fill Evan’s void.

    My hope is that former 5 star recruit Ricky DeBerry is moved inside. He has to be ready to contribute, and it doesn’t look like he’s gonna crack the OLB starting spot anytime soon. Besides, he always struck me as a ILB body type.

    • ianaboyd

      I think Beal is alright at inside-backer and could be valuable next year. But it’s a position that gets attacked with complexity, false keys, tempo, and space every week in the Big 12. If you aren’t a really fast thinker you need a ton of experience to master the position and I just don’t see guys on the OU roster who have been groomed over multiple years in the program to step in and fill that role.

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