6 Sooners make Athlon Sports’ All-Big 12 second team ahead of 2022 season

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Brent Venables and the Oklahoma Sooners coaching staff did a great job at addressing immediate needs in the transfer portal. Finding starters and rotational players to replace the guys they lost will help the Sooners stay in contention in the Big 12 and potentially for a playoff spot.

The new coaching staff combined with the addition of Dillon Gabriel has the Sooners projected to be one of the top teams in the Big 12 three months ahead of the 2022 season. At the same time, a lot of the optimism is in projecting how the new additions and the guys rising up the depth chart will do with increased opportunities.

Looking ahead to the 2022 season, Athlon Sports named their 2022 All-Big 12 first and second teams. The Oklahoma Sooners had six players selected to the second team and no first-team selections. Zero.

Dillon Gabriel, Marvin Mims, Anton Harrison, Jalen Redmond, Danny Stutsman, and DaShaun White were named to Athlon’s All-Big 12 second team.

It’s understandable how the Sooners might not get Marvin Mims in as a first-team wide receiver. Xavier Worthy, Quentin Johnston, and Xavier Hutchinson are really good players. Mims is in the mix and there’s certainly an argument to be made for his inclusion, but those three guys are just as talented and Worthy and Hutchinson have the production to go along with the talent.

Where an argument can be made is with Spencer Sanders as the first-team quarterback. Sure, I wrote about how Sanders could be a problem for Oklahoma in 2022 and he’s coming off of an incredible game against Notre Dame and was the first-team quarterback selection in 2021. But are we sure he can maintain the consistency needed to be the top quarterback in the conference again in 2022?

Of course, Dillon Gabriel, who was the second-team quarterback hasn’t played a snap in the Big 12, but he’s had a ton of success in his career and his work against the Power Five is pretty solid. In games against Stanford, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech, UCF was 2-1 and Gabriel averaged 367 yards passing, threw 10 touchdowns, just two interceptions, and completed 65% of his passes.

Anton Harrison also made the second team and has received a lot of first-round buzz in early mock drafts for 2023. He’ll be relied upon to anchor the Oklahoma Sooners’ offensive line as it looks for a bounceback season in 2022.

The Sooners also had three defensive players selected to the second-team. Jalen Redmond, DaShaun White, and Danny Stutsman lead the way for a Sooners defense that is looking to replace five NFL draft picks and a starter in Patrick Fields who went to Stanford as a grad transfer. The talent is there, but it’s largely unproven.

White and Stutsman will be expected to take on bigger roles at linebacker along with David Ugwoegbu while Redmond will look to put together a big 2022 with Perrion Winfrey gone.

Brayden Willis, Woodi Washington, and Key Lawrence were named to the third team while Eric Gray, Chris Murray, and Reggie Grimes were selected to the fourth team.

With 13 selections, the Sooners were behind Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor, who each had 14 players named to the four All-Big 12 teams.

There’s a buzz surrounding the Oklahoma Sooners, who have been considered the favorite in the conference despite all of the turnover on both sides of the ball. A testament to the addition of Gabriel and the new coaching staff, the Sooners might have questions to answer when the 2022 season gets underway, but there’s a lot of optimism about this roster.

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