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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Crimson Countdown: DE Mike Onuoha

By Brandon Chatmon

During the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we will analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term impact. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.

No. 84 Mike Onuoha
Defensive end, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, sophomore

Impact thus far: Onuoha was one of the surprises of fall camp last August, playing his way out of a redshirt season despite being relatively raw on the gridiron. He played in four games, finishing with four tackles as a true freshman. Even though he played in 2012, his impact was minimal that season.

Best-case scenario in 2013: Onuoha becomes a key rotation player at defensive end as a sophomore. His combination of length and athleticism could allow him to be a playmaker on the edge. His road to consistent playing time and/or a starting spot is far from clear, but he has the talent to be a key part of the Sooners defense this fall.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: He doesn’t break into the rotation as Onuoha doesn’t show major improvement as a sophomore and the limited time he spent on the field in 2012 doesn’t pay off in 2013.

SoonerNation's evaluation grade for Onuoha: B. Early on this looks like an superb evaluation by the Sooners. Onuoha was a basketball player who was pretty raw as a defensive lineman yet OU offered him late in the recruiting process, landed him and then saw him impress enough to play his way out of a redshirt season in 2012. Once he starts producing, this grade should get higher.

SoonerNation’s development grade for Onuoha: F. The reality is the Sooners wasted a year of eligibility for Onuoha. He only played in four games and rarely stepped on the field with the outcome still in doubt. As impressive as he was in preseason camp, he probably should have redshirted, and OU could regret it if he becomes a special player -- yet the Sooners only get two or three seasons of elite production from him.