3 biggest gets/losses for Oklahoma in the transfer portal

There was plenty of roster turnover in Norman as the Sooners transition to Jackson Arnold at QB. According to FanSided college football writer Josh Yourish, these three additions will help the former five-star succeed, but the two biggest losses could stunt the program's growth.

Baylor Bears tight end Jake Roberts (86)
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Biggest losses

QB. . . Super-senior. . Dillon Gabriel. 515. Dillon Gabriel. Dillon Gabriel. player

It was absolutely time for Jackson Arnold to take over the starting job in Norman, a five-star quarterback is only going to sit and watch for so long before finding a new home in the transfer portal. However, Arnold did not look great in his Alamo Bowl debut against Arizona. 

Arnold threw for 361 yards on 26 of 45 passing with two touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions and wasn’t able to answer Arizona’s 17-point fourth quarter. It was not a good showing, and clearly, there were some nerves early on. That will wear away, but what if Arnold isn’t the guy while Gabriel is leading the Oregon Ducks to the College Football Playoff? That feels like a disaster scenario. 

Oklahoma’s roster was far from elite in 2023, but Gabriel was good enough to cover up a lot of those issues. 

Against Texas, Gabriel threw for 285 yards and the game-winning touchdown and rushed for 113 yards and another touchdown. Oklahoma didn’t have enough receivers to compete with the Longhorns, but Gabriel outplayed Quinn Ewers and that was the difference. I’m not convinced that Arnold can carry the team that same way. 

531. . . . player. Cayden Green. Sophomore. Cayden Green. Cayden Green. LG

Cayden Green was presumably the succession plan at either of the tackle positions after starting at left guard in his freshman season, but Green decided to move on to Missouri. 

As a freshman, he played 38 snaps at left tackle in Week 1 against Arkansas State but slid into left guard the rest of the year. There, he allowed 11 total pressures in 277 pass-blocking snaps and didn’t give up a sack all year. 

Green was not an elite people-mover in the run game, but that strength was going to come for the 6-foot-5 315-pound freshman who was starting games as an 18-year-old in the Big 12. Troy Everett is likely to take over at left guard in his redshirt junior year. 

Last season, Everett played 398 snaps between left guard, right guard, and center. He only gave up five pressures. Instead of adding to a strength with both Green and Everett on the O-line, Oklahoma had to replace one with the other, which hurt the starting group and the depth. 

Tawee Walker. RB. . . player. . Tawee Walker. Tawee Walker. 493. Senior

Oklahoma lost both Tawee Walker and Marcus Major to the portal this offseason which was a huge blow to the backfield. The faith in the offense may have waned in Norman after Jeff Lebby to the head coaching job at Mississippi State. Of the two, Walker is the bigger loss. 

Last season, he averaged 5.0 yards on 102 carries for 513 yards and seven touchdowns. Gavin Sawchuck will take an increased workload after leading the team with 120 carries for 744 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman, so the two older backup running backs both fled, stripping the Sooners of backfield depth. 

Venables did a nice job replacing both Walker and Majors by adding UT Martin transfer Sam Franklin who ran for 1,378 yards and 11 touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore last year. 

In 2023, Oklahoma ranked 35 in rushing offense, but that included Gabriel’s 373 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. Arnold won’t provide the same dual-threat ability, so OU’s running backs will need to be even better to exceed that production, or at least replicate it.

3 Oklahoma football players who should be replaced in 2024. 3 Oklahoma football players who should be replaced in 2024. dark. Next