Oklahoma football: What transfer portal players could help OU the most?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 01: The Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a 39-27 Big 12 Championship win against the Texas Longhorns at AT&T Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 01: The Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a 39-27 Big 12 Championship win against the Texas Longhorns at AT&T Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The new reality of the sport is quickly setting in: free agency has come to college football.

Oklahoma football was no stranger to it in recent months, losing some depth on the defensive line and at wide receiver while gaining the most high-profile grad transfer on the market in Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.

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After massive movement before enrollment deadlines in January, we have entered the second wave of transfers as players shop for new teams before summer workouts begin. There are a ton of interesting names exploring their options in the transfer portal, but how many of them fit a specific need for Oklahoma football? Here’s a look at what’s out there, according to 247sports.

Note: This in no way means these players are coming to Oklahoma. It is simply a wish list ranking who out there can benefit the program.

Malik Barrow – Defensive tackle – Ohio State

One of the most coveted recruits in the nation at one time, Barrow medically retired from the game in 2018 before deciding to throw his name into the transfer portal in January. Barrow seems to fit what the Sooners are looking for in a one-gap defensive tackle who can get off the ball and penetrate a backfield quickly, plus he has a connection to current OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch from their mutual time in Columbus. This could become more interesting as the spring unfolds and we find out more about Barrow’s current health situation and any potential Sooner interest in the quick defensive tackle from IMG Academy.

Zach Abercrumbia – Defensive tackle – Rice

Another sub-300-pound defensive lineman who could come in and make an immediate impact for the Sooners is Rice’s Zach Abercrumbia. The all-conference defensive player recorded eight tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last season and has immediate eligibility. He’s drawn interest from Michigan and Texas among others and one would think he could challenge for some playing time in the OU defensive line rotation.

R.J. Proctor – Guard – Virginia

Proctor has started 11 games over the past two seasons and the graduate transfer has immediate eligibility. The Sooners graduate four starters on the offensive line and could obviously use the 6-foot-4, 335-pound Proctor on the roster, but one would question where he would eventually fall on the depth chart with Marquis Hays, Finley Felix, Tyrese Thompson and Erik Swenson all waiting in the wings for a chance to take the Sooners’ two starting guard spots. There is even talk of moving defensive tackle Michael Thompson over to let him compete for time at the position. Proctor is looking to go somewhere he can play immediately and Oklahoma’s recent stellar recruiting on the offensive line may hurt his chances of doing that in Norman.

Drew Richmond – Offensive tackle – Tennessee

Another grad transfer offensive lineman, Richmond would likely be in a similar situation at Oklahoma as Proctor. It seems only a matter of time before Brey Walker takes his place at left tackle for the Sooners while Adrian Ealy and Darrell Simpson are going to battle for the right tackle spot. Richmond would likely add some depth to these ranks, but probably wants to go somewhere he can start.

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Parker Braun – Offensive guard – Georgia Tech

Braun may be the most capable offensive lineman currently in the transfer portal, but he’s also the most coveted. Big-name programs like Alabama, Texas and Ohio State are all looking to land visits from the two-time all-conference guard. Still, the Sooners aren’t going to shy away from competition on the recruiting or transfer trail. It would come down to a matter of whether Braun fits what the Sooners are looking for and whether he’s a better option than one of the guys on the current roster.