Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Crimson Countdown: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
By Brandon Chatmon
This summer, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on the Oklahoma Sooners' roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.
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From No. 1 Dominique Alexander to No. 98 Chuka Ndulue, we're evaluating the Oklahoma roster. View the entire Crimson Countdown series.
Impact thus far: Okoronkwo redshirted during his first year on campus.
Impact in 2014: The redshirt freshman faces a tough task to get on the field this fall with Eric Striker and Geneo Grissom among the players standing between Okoronkwo and playing time. But if he displays supreme pass-rushing skills, those traits will be hard to ignore, regardless of who is on the roster.
Long-term upside: He has terrific long-term potential but will need to show the versatility to play several roles in Oklahoma's defense as the Sooners strive to adapt on the fly to various teams. Time will tell just how good he will be, but if he works his way onto the field this fall that would be a terrific sign for the future.
Evaluation grade for Okoronkwo: C. It’s early to grade him, but he has impressed at times during his time on campus. But, ultimately, that means nothing until he makes a play on Saturday.
Development grade for Okoronkwo: A. A redshirt season was the right move for Okoronkwo, who needed to put on some pounds and find a position to call home after arriving on campus as a undersized defensive end/linebacker type of hybrid prospect. He is much more likely (and prepared) to make an impact in 2014 than he was as a true freshman in 2013.