Every Monday during the summer, the SoonerNation staff answers a roundtable question. Leave a comment or talk about it in our "There's Only One" forum.
Today's question: What is Oklahoma's biggest need in the 2013 recruiting class?
Mike Stoops said during the spring it was imperative the Sooners signed five "quality" defensive backs in their next recruiting class. In the NFL, top-notch defensive backs are becoming a premium because of the number of proficient passing games that have taken over the league. The same can be said of the Big 12. If you don't have a strong defensive backfield, you're going to get beat, and, as OU found out last season, often more than once. The Sooners added a few promising players this past class in Gary Simon, Eric Striker and Zack Sanchez, but by 2014 Aaron Colvin, Tony Jefferson, Demontre Hurst, Javon Harris, Lamar Harris and Joe Ibiloye will all be gone. Replacing them with "quality" players is of the highest priorities.
- Jake Trotter
Defensive back is a major need for the Sooners. OU's lack of depth in the secondary can be considered one of the primary reasons for losses to Baylor and Texas Tech in 2011 and the Sooners will be looking at losing at least half of its entire starting secondary after this season. And that's if Tony Jefferson and Aaron Colvin return and don't enter the 2013 NFL draft. Mike Stoops said he is looking to sign five quality defensive backs in this recruiting class and the Sooners are definitely going to need all of those bodies with the hope at least two of them can step in and make an impact immediately.
- Brandon Chatmon
Oklahoma was close with a couple of big-time offensive tackle targets in 2012. In not getting Joshua Garnett (Stanford) or Zach Banner (USC), it has made offensive tackle an even bigger point of emphasis for the class. OU is hoping to get three tackles and Bruce Kittle has sought out the guys he thinks will fit the Sooners best. OU picked up one with Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union), but he is an unknown commodity at the position. There aren't many elite regional tackles still on the board so Kittle has some work to do in convincing a national recruit to take a chance on the Sooners.
- Bob Przybylo
There's no doubt the Sooners are lacking depth on the defensive side of the ball. But linebacker is the position that's most in need of young talent, especially after Oklahoma didn't sign any 'backers in the class of 2012 (Eric Striker will likely play safety at OU). Earlier this spring, their most-talented young linebacker Kellen Jones, who played some as a true freshman in 2011, transferred to join Brent Venables at Clemson. That leaves OU desperate for young depth with its entire top four being upperclassmen. It's a priority for new assistant coach Tim Kish to find a few playmakers in the class of 2013.
- Dane Beavers