Oklahoma football continues to find many of its players on preseason award watch lists.
This time DT Jalen Redmond has been named to the Bednarik Award watch list. This award is given annually to the best defensive player in the country. Jalen has been one of the most talented players in the country and for the Oklahoma defense ever since he stepped foot on the field for the Crimson and Cream.
Redmond’s trouble, has been he has only stepped foot on the field for a limited time, and as such has not reached his full potential.
Jalen Redmond is a Midwest City, Oklahoma, native, who did not start playing football until he was an upper classman in high school, and yet still earned a five-star rating according to 247sports.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) August 1, 2022
As a freshman, in 2018, he suffered a medical issue pertaining to blood clots. The OU medical team decided it would be better for Jalen to sit the year out and monitor the situation, as it appeared to clear up he tried to return, then was put back on the shelf.
In 2019, he led the Sooners in sacks just ahead of Ronnie Perkins, then when 2020 came around Redmond was dealing with an injury and had covid concerns so he decided to sit that year out. In 2021, Redmond was the best defensive player on the field in my estimation, and the Sooners’ production as a unit appeared to be linked to his ability to be on the field, which he, unfortunately, was not for five of the thirteen games.
Here’s Jalen Redmond on his former teammates and his big season ahead. Hard not to root for a guy that’s faced countless setbacks.
“I know it is, I’ve been through a lot.” Redmond said. “It is definitely my time.”
— Ross Lovelace (@Rosslovelace) August 4, 2022
Jalen has All-American level potential and is now listed at 298 which is about 20 pounds heavier than he played last year, Redmond noted he also feels faster. If any single player benefits the most from the return of Jerry Schmidt it’s Redmond, who was picked by some to be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft the last off-season.
Only one Oklahoma Sooner has ever won the Bednarik Award, and that was LB Teddy Lehman back in 2003, so if Redmond was able to pull off this feat, he would be joining a very distinct shortlist.