Oklahoma football: Austin Stogner coming back via transfer portal

Sep 25, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Austin Stogner (18) scores a touchdown as West Virginia Mountaineers cornerback Daryl Porter Jr. (2) defends during the first quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Austin Stogner (18) scores a touchdown as West Virginia Mountaineers cornerback Daryl Porter Jr. (2) defends during the first quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Former Oklahoma football tight end Austin Stogner is returning to the Sooners.

Stogner, who spent the past season at South Carolina under former Oklahoma assistant Shae Beamer, announced recently that he was entering the transfer portal, and today he announced via Twitter that he was returning to play for the Sooners.

Stogner originally signed with Oklahoma as a member of OU’s top-10 2019 class that featured five-star quarterback Spencer Rattler and three five-star wide receivers. Following Lincoln Riley’s departure from Oklahoma, Stogner joined Rattler in transferring to South Carolina.

This past season with the Gamecocks, Stogner saw action in 12 games and made 20 receptions for 210 yards and one touchdown.

In three seasons playing at Oklahoma (2019-2021), the 6-foot, 5-inch, 250-pound tight end caught 47 passes for 654 yards and eight touchdowns in 23 games. His best collegiate season was in 2020 when Stogner caught 26 passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns at Oklahoma. He averaged 16.2 yards per catch that season.

Stogner’s 2020 season might have been even more productive had it not been for a hard hit he took to the thigh in the Sooners’ seventh game of the season against Kansas. He suffered a deep thigh bruise that developed into a life-threatening strep infection, which sidelined him for the rest of the regular season and could easily have ended his football career. He lost 35 pounds and was in intensive care.

Stogner did recover from his injury and returned to action in Oklahoma’s 2020 Cotton Bowl game with Florida, catching one pass for 12 yards. The following season, in 2021, he caught just 14 passes, all but four from Rattler before the prized quarterback was benched in favor of Caleb Williams.

Stogner’s return for the 2023 season, which will be his super-senior year (the extra year of eligibility granted because of the COVID-shortened 2020 season). comes at a good time with the Sooners losing Brayden Willis to graduation. OU’s current depth chart at tight end includes two freshmen: Jason Llewellyn and Kaden Helms, both of whom saw very limited action this season