Oklahoma football: Two Sooner defenders entering transfer portal

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 08: Oklahoma Sooners helmets
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 08: Oklahoma Sooners helmets /

Two Oklahoma football defensive players have announced they are entering the transfer portal in as many days.

A couple of weeks after All-Big 12 linebacker Kenneth Murray declared he was forgoing his final year of eligibility and was headed to the NFL, OU safety Ryan Jones and linebacker Levi Draper have decided to leave the team and place their name in the transfer portal.

Jones, a redshirt sophomore from Charlotte, North Carolina, was a member of Oklahoma’s 2017 recruiting class. He was recruited as a four-star wide-receiver prospect, but was switched to defense when he arrived at OU. He had originally committed to North Carolina, before changing to OU.

Jones was credited with nine tackles and an interception, playing in six games for the Sooners in the 2019 season. He may end up at North Carolina, the school to which he initially committed in 2017. He also had offers from Clemson, Kentucky, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Tennessee. He will have two years of eligibility remaining at his new school.

Draper, an inside linebacker, played in all 14 games for Oklahoma this past season, primarily on special teams. The redshirt sophomore from Collinsville, Oklahoma, was expected to play a larger role his junior and senior seasons. Like Jones, Draper was a member of Lincoln Riley’s 2017 recruiting class, a top-10 class that included Murray, Trey Sermon, CeeDee Lamb, Charleston Rambo, Creed Humphrey and others.

A four-star prospect out of high school, Draper’s playing time has been limited except for special teams. He also will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of depth at the inside linebacker position. Caleb Kelly, Deshaun White and Brian Asamoah are the only inside linebackers returning for next season. Four-star prospect Bryden Walker and Shane Whittier are 2020 signees who could see some action at linebacker next fall.