After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.
Norman (Okla.) North linebacker Jordan Evans made play after play as a high school senior. The Sooners weren't sure what position he might end up playing, but he was just too good to ignore and OU eventually offered and signed the local prospect.
"He’s just a great athlete," head coach Bob Stoops said. "He’s got a lot of range in size to him, and we’re like, 'Hey, we’ll find the right spot for him once we get him here.' "
Evans projects perfectly to be a hybrid defensive end/linebacker or he could end up playing either position for the Sooners. Regardless, he brings unique ability to the table as a 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker who returned multiple kicks for touchdowns during his senior year.
"He’s gifted athletically," linebackers coach Tim Kish said. "Anytime you have a linebacker that returns punts and kickoffs, it speaks volumes. He’s an excellent defender, so versatile. He has the speed, size and athleticism we are looking for at that position now."
Stoops likened him to former Sooner Dan Cody, who earned all-american honors at defensive end before being selected in the second round of the NFL draft.
"Dan Cody was absolutely the same way," Stoops said. "We kept watching Dan, and what’s he going to play? Once you work with guys daily you find what’s best for them and where they’re going to have the most success."
As the Sooners' defense strives to become more versatile, prospects like Evans become important pieces to the puzzle.
"He’s got the speed, the quickness, the agility to play outside linebacker," Stoops said. "He’s got the size where you’re unsure where he will end up growing to, but that’s good. The bottom line ... when we all looked at him and were watching him over and over is everybody likes him, so wherever he ends up kind of growing to, good."