Oklahoma Sooners football
Getty Images

Former four-star Oklahoma LB Levi Draper enters transfer portal

Leave a comment

It appears the Oklahoma Sooners football team will have some depth in its linebacking corps pared.

Thursday, it was reported that Levi Draper is entering his name into the NCAA transfer database, the first step in leaving OU.  An Oklahoma Sooners football official subsequently confirmed that Draper will be entering the portal.

The linebacker’s time in Norman hasn’t officially come to an end, however, as he could always pull his name from the portal and return.

A four-star member of Oklahoma’s 2017 recruiting class, Draper was rated as the No. 5 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma.  On the 247Sports.com composite, he was the No. 118 prospect overall.  Only three signees in the Sooners’ class that year were rated higher than Draper.

Injuries helped lead to Draper take a redshirt as a true freshman.  The past two seasons, Draper played in 28 games.  Most of that action came on special teams.

When Draper does find a new school, it should be as a graduate transfer.  That would then leave him with two years of eligibility to use.

Draper is one of a handful of Sooners who have entered the portal of late. From the school’s student newspaper:

This is the second Sooner linebacker to enter the portal in the last two days, as Ryan Jones reportedly entered it on Wednesday. Along with the two linebackers, wide receiver Mykel Jones, safety Ty DeArman, defensive linemen Coby Tillman and Troy James will all be transferring.

It’s not all attrition at OU, however. Earlier this week, the program confirmed the addition of UCLA transfer wide receiver Theo Howard.  The receiver was honorable mention All-Pac-12 in 2018.

Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility at OU this coming season.

Trevor Lawrence enters 2020 offseason as Heisman favorite

Trevor Lawrence Heisman
Getty Images
1 Comment

Even as Trevor Lawrence attempts to get the taste of his first-ever college loss out of his month, there’s no time like the present for a little Heisman talk.

On the biggest stage Monday night, Lawrence came up short as Clemson took it on the chin in a 17-point loss to LSU in the College Football Playoff championship game.  While the quarterback didn’t throw an interception, he did complete a career-worst 48.6 percent of his pass attempts.  The true sophomore was also held without a touchdown pass for the first time since a four-point win over Syracuse in September of 2018.

Despite the struggles, Trevor Lawrence hasn’t lost all of the Heisman shine as one offshore sportsbook has him listed as a 7/2 favorite to claim the 2020 stiff-armed trophy.  That’s actually down a bit from the 3/1 Lawrence was at following Joe Burrow winning the 2019 Heisman Trophy in record-smashing fashion.

The quarterback of the team Lawrence and Clemson took down in the semifinals, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, is right behind his under-center counterpart at 4/1.  Another quarterback, true freshman Kedon Slovis of USC, is at 9/1.

Five other returning players will start the offseason at 10/1, including Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, who surprised many (most?) observers by announcing Monday he’s coming back for his senior season.  The others at that 10/1 number are all quarterbacks — Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Alabama’s Mac Jones, Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan, Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler.

The only non-offensive player on the early Heisman wagering agenda?  Standout LSU true freshman cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who is listed at 16/1.

Some perspective, though, on these way-too-early odds: Last year at this time, Lawrence (3/1) and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (4/1) were the heavy favorites to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy.  Lawrence finished seventh in the voting this past December, Tagovailoa 10th.

College football title odds have Clemson as way-too-early 2020 favorite

College football title odds
Getty Images
3 Comments

You say the corpse of the 2019 college football season isn’t even cold yet, and we’re already looking ahead to 2020 when it comes to title odds?  We say of course we are.  Because that’s how we roll.  Or something.

Monday night, in New Orleans appropriately enough, LSU landed its magic carpet ride of a 2019 season in seemingly the only way possible, overwhelming Clemson with waves of offensive talent to claim the College Football Playoff championship.  The video game that was Joe Burrow, wobbly early on, righted itself in the romp, with the Heisman Trophy winner setting the single-season record for touchdown passes en route to the ever-elusive ring.

The reality that will set in a day or two from now?  Burrow has played his last down in a Tigers uniform, with the senior expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  Burrow’s counterpart on the night, Trevor Lawrence, will return to Clemson for one more season before he’s expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

As such, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has installed Clemson as a way-too-early 9/4 favorite to win the 2020 national championship.  LSU, meanwhile, sits at 8/1.

A year ago at this time?  Clemson, the reigning national champions, was at 7/2, behind Alabama at 3/2.  And LSU?  They were at 50/1 on Jan. 8, 2019.

This year, between Clemson and LSU, Ohio State comes in at an initial 3/1 and Alabama, which will be replacing Tua Tagovailoa, at 6/1.  Georgia’s odds are at 8/1 as well.

Of those five teams, just two — Clemson (Lawrence) and Ohio State (Justin Fields) — will return their starting quarterback.

At 14/1, Florida is the only other team in that neighborhood.  Six others start off at 30/1 — Auburn, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State and Texas A&M.

And as for the Group of Five? At 1,000/1, Houston has the highest odds.

Oklahoma confirms addition of UCLA transfer WR Theo Howard

Oklahoma Sooners football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Just ahead of the championship game kicking off, there’s been some confirmation as to the latest addition to the Oklahoma Sooners football roster.

Last week, Theo Howard indicated on social media that he will be transferring to Oklahoma and continuing his playing career with the Sooners.  The announcement came nearly three months after the wide receiver decided to transfer from UCLA.

Late Monday afternoon, the official Twitter account of the Oklahoma Sooners football program confirmed Howard’s signing.

Prior to the OU announcement, Howard had also considered Arizona, Baylor, Oregon State, TCU and Washington.

Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility at OU this coming season.

In 2018, Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after catching 51 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns. Because of a pair of hand injuries that sidelined him for a sizable chunk of 2019, Moore didn’t record a catch this past season for the Bruins.  Because he played in fewer than four games, he was able to use a redshirt for the 2019 season.

During his time at UCLA, Howard totaled 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions. In a loss to OU in September of 2018, Howard caught two passes for 53 yards.  He didn’t record a catch in the Bruins’ loss to the Sooners this past September.

Oklahoma new home for UCLA transfer WR Theo Howard

Oklahoma Sooners football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In between signing days, the Oklahoma Sooners football program has seen its wide receiving corps receive a boost in talent.  And experience.

Wednesday night, Theo Howard indicated on social media that he will be transferring to Oklahoma and continuing his playing career with the Sooners football team.  The announcement comes nearly three months after the receiver decided to transfer from UCLA.

Prior to the OU announcement, Howard had also considered Arizona, Baylor, Oregon State, TCU and Washington.

Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility for the Oklahoma Sooners football program this coming season.

In 2018, Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after catching 51 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns. Because of a pair of hand injuries that sidelined him for a sizable chunk of 2019, Moore didn’t record a catch this past season for the Bruins.  Because he played in fewer than four games, he was able to use a redshirt for the 2019 season.

During his time at UCLA, Howard totaled 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions. In a loss to OU in September of 2018, Howard caught two passes for 53 yards.  He didn’t record a catch in the Bruins’ loss to the Sooners this past September.