State of the program: Linebacker 

December, 27, 2012
12/27/12
10:30
AM ET
After grading the performance of Oklahoma’s linebackers in 2012, it is the perfect time to take a closer look at the linebackers on the roster or the commitment list as SoonerNation evaluates the future at the position for Oklahoma. Here’s a look at one player who could be next in line to make a major impact, one player to keep an eye on and one current commitment who could be the future.

Frank Shannon
Denny Medley/US PresswireExpect redshirt freshman linebacker Frank Shannon to make a big impact for the Sooners in 2013.
Next in line: Frank Shannon. Shortly after Tim Kish arrived at Oklahoma last spring, the Sooners linebacker coach began heaping praise upon the redshirt freshman linebacker. Kish spoke highly of Shannon’s natural instincts and playmaking ability. This fall, Shannon has lived up to the hype after a breakout game against Texas Tech on Oct. 6. His versatility and instincts should make him a cornerstone of OU’s defenses over the next few seasons.

Keep an eye on: Eric Striker. Although the Sooners will return Shannon, Tom Wort, Corey Nelson and Aaron Franklin, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Striker earn a role in the Sooners defense as a sophomore. He has pass rushing skills and versatility, which could make him a key contributor in 2013.
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