Dominique Alexander shouldn’t get short shrift here. Atop the depth chart at outside linebacker, the true freshman from Tulsa Washington broke into the lineup before Evans and ranks third among Sooner tacklers this season behind Shannon and Quentin Hayes. Still, Nelson had to go in cold against the Red Raiders and was more than up to the task.
What impressed Stoops?
“Everything,” he said.
“He’s a natural athlete … What’s pleasing is when we first put him in there, how natural it was for him, to find the ball, to be where he needs to be. A safety and a linebacker, if you have to tell him too many steps to take, you’re wasting your time.”
Though Broyles sat out his true freshman season following his lone brush with knuckleheadedness, he was wowing his coaches even before it became clear he would sit. Former Sooner offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said he had a “knack.”
Broyles didn’t leave for the NFL until he’d caught more passes than any other FBS collegian in the history of the game.
Evans, at a different position, appears to have a similar knack.
“Jordan, to lead the team in tackles and play like he did really says a lot for him,” Stoops said, “and, moving forward, how good he’s going to be.”
It’s true, you can’t help but wonder if Evans’ knack can possibly have him ready to face the likes of Baylor. Just as true, should Shannon’s availability remain limited, it better.
“(Linebackers are) a huge part of this game, being able to, hopefully, play their run game and control it and limit,” Stoops said.
It’s so much to ask a true freshman who might be making his first start. Of course, it has to be nice knowing the guy you’re asking is, you know, a ballplayer.
To really stand alongside Broyles, Evans will have to become one of the best in the game, get himself on awards lists and maybe win a few.
Who’s to say he won’t?
“He just,” Stoops said, “gets it.”
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