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Big 12 Offseason Tracker: A host of Oklahoma players are entering the NCAA transfer portal

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - LSU v Oklahoma Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

College football season is over. The offseason moves have begun. Some coaching carousels remain in full swing, while others have settled on who’s to lead their respective programs in 2020 and, possibly, if the head coaches prove their individual worth in wins, beyond. Some players are bowing out and taking their talents elsewhere. Other players are deciding whether to stick around for the remainder of their eligibility or, at the behest of their Pop Warner dreams, to take it pro.

That’s where we come in, because news across the college football landscape comes at you fast this time of year. Check in here for the latest updates on the coaching carousel, as well as any player updates that impact the Big 12 Conference and the Texas Longhorns.

The latest (Jan. 20)

The Oklahoma Sooners are heading into their second season under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. That means recruits who were lured to Norman by former defensive coordinator Mike Stoops are growing increasingly thin, as more elect to transfer. Names included among that bunch are redshirt sophomore linebacker Levi Draper, redshirt sophomore linebacker Ryan Jones, freshman linebacker Jonathan Perkins, redshirt junior cornerback Jordan Parker, freshman safety Ty DeArman and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Troy James, among others players on the offensive side of the ball, such as redshirt junior receiver Mykel Jone and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Michael Thompson.

Though James and DeArman are set to land at Prairie View A&M and SMU, respectively, it remains to be seen where the remainder of the transfer hopefuls will land in 2020.

Coaching carousel

Texas Tech (defensive personnel)

IN – Todd Orlando (Texas)

OUT – Kerry Cooks (fired)

It took Orlando’s firing by Texas head coach Tom Herman to make it happen, but nevertheless, former Longhorns defensive coordinator landed with an in-state rival. Under Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells, Orlando will coach linebackers and has been named assistant head coach. To land him, Texas Tech nixed safeties coach Kerry Cooks and opted to move current defensive coordinator Keith Patterson in Cooks’ place.

TCU (offensive personnel)


OUT – Curtis Luper (Missouri), Chris Thomsen (Florida State)

Two things are for sure: former running backs coach Curtis Luper is heading to the Missouri for a similar role and offensive line coach Chris Thomsen is off to the Florida State, where he’ll serve as a deputy head coach under head coach Mike Norvell. The rest, however, remains up in the air, albeit delicately — Football Scoop reported on Jan. 15 that former TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham is expected to return as an inside wide receivers coach. Colorado State running back coach Bryan Applewhite is also expected to join TCU head coach Gary Patterson, per Football Scoop.

247Sports reports that Patterson is expected to name former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill to his offensive staff, as a special assistant to the head coach. 247Sports notes that Kill won’t be among the ten assistant coaches in 2020. Instead, he’ll oversee the offense from the perspective of coach and player evaluations, play calls and schemes, among other things.

Baylor (head coach)

IN – Dave Aranda (LSU)

OUT – Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers)

The NFL’s Carolina Panthers stole Baylor head coach Matt Rhule at a price of $60 million over seven years. As a result, Baylor hired LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. It’s the first head coaching job of his career and also means that the Longhorns will face a new defensive coordinator in Baton Rouge this September.

Oklahoma State (offensive coordinator)

IN – Kasey Dunn

OUT – Sean Gleeson (Rutgers)

Longtime Oklahoma State assistant coach Kasey Dunn got the best of this move. Dunn, head coach Mike Gundy’s longest tenured staff member since 2011 and the 2017 National Wide Receivers Coach of the Year, was promoted to offensive coordinator after Sean Gleeson was hired away for the same role with Rutgers.

Kansas (defensive personnel)

INJordan Peterson (New Mexico)

OUT – Clint Bowen (North Texas)

In December, longtime Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen announced he was leaving the program to join North Texas, after serving in a variety of roles over two separate stints — 1998 to 2009 and 2012 to 2019 — and under several Jayhawks head coaches. As a result, Kansas head coach Les Miles hired a safeties coach in Jordan Peterson, who previously served in the same role with New Mexico since 2017 , and as defensive coordinator with the program after he was promoted last year.

West Virginia (offensive personnel)

IN – Gerad Parker (Penn State)

OUT Xavier Dye (South Florida)

When West Virginia receivers coach Xavier Dye announced his departure for South Florida, head coach Neal Brown landed on Penn State receivers coach Gerad Parker to step in as the program’s new offensive coordinator. West Virginia assistants Matt Moore and Chad Scott shared offensive coordinator duties in 2019. Moore and Scott remain on the coaching staff and will likely be moved to position coaches.

Iowa State (tight ends coach)


OUT – Alex Golesh (UCF)

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell couldn’t hold on to tight ends coach Alex Goresh, who’s taking over as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach with the UCF. The program has yet to fill Golesh’s vacancy.

Players going pro

Texas Tech

Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Houston Miller — Listed at 6-4, 275 pounds, Miller has declared for the NFL Draft. In 28 games at Texas Tech, Miller notched just three tackles.


Redshirt junior defensive tackle Ross Blacklock — Despite the NFL’s Advisory Committee telling Blacklock that he should hold off on declaring for one more season, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he’s opting to do so anyway and has signed with an agent.

Junior receiver Jalen Reagor — After leading the Horned Frogs in catches (43), yards (611) and touchdowns (5) — an inconsistent season by his standards — Reagor has opted to forgo his senior season and try the NFL. He’s projected as a first round pick later this year.


Redshirt junior cornerback Grayland Arnold — After earning a second-team All-Big 12 recognition in 2019 and a second overall conference ranking with six interceptions, 40 tackles and two pass breakups, Arnold is heading to the NFL, like former coach Matt Rhule.

Junior defensive lineman James Lynch – This one was a no-brainer for the 2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He finishes his college career with 33.5 tackles for loss and 22 sacks.


Junior receiver CeeDee Lamb — For those who watched the Longhorns take on the Sooners in 2019, this move was in itself equally obvious for Lamb. After consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with double-digit touchdown catches, Lamb is a projected first round pick.

Junior linebacker Kenneth Murray — It didn’t end well for Murray and the Oklahoma defense against LSU in the College Football Playoff Semifinal game (Heisman Trophy-winning LSU quarterback Joe Burrow ate their lunch), but Murray’s 102 tackles and four sacks in 2019 were enough to boost his confidence enough to send himself to the NFL.

Key transfers

Texas Tech

Freshman Utah State linebacker Christian LaValle – LaValle, a member of the 2019 signing class with the Utah State Aggies, will finally get his chance to play for Wells, who left the Aggies for his current role at Texas Tech after the 2018 season. At 5’11, 240 pounds, 247Sports ranked LaValle and the No. 44 inside linebacker in the nation coming out of high school. LaValle will likely be forced to sit out the 2020 season unless he successfully petitions the NCAA for an eligibility waiver.


Senior Temple tight end Kenny Yeboah — Yeboah barely missed his chance to reunite with former head coach Rhule, who recruited Yeboah as part of the 2016 class. As a redshirt junior with the Temple Owls, he accounted for career highs in catches (19), yards (233) and touchdowns (5). Yeboah is expected to fill a much needed role for the Bears in 2020.


Senior UCLA receiver Theo Howard — Three months after he announced his intention to transfer away from the UCLA Bruins, Howard has found a landing spot in Norman, where he’ll help push what will be a younger group of receivers for the Sooners in 2020. During his career at UCLA, Howard amassed 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions.

Oklahoma State

Junior West Virginia offensive lineman Josh Sills — West Virginia’s loss is Gundy’s gain. With two years of eligibility remaining, Sills opted to remain in the Big 12 as a graduate transfer. His 2019 season ended early on with an ankle injury. Prior to then, he started 22 of 25 games with the Mountaineers and was named second-team All-Big 12 in 2018.


Senior running back Khalil Herbert — You know run game-happy Les Miles hates to see this one. Prior to his commitment to Virginia Tech in early December, at Kansas, Herbert, who redshirted four games into the 2019 season, rushed for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns with an average of 5.4 yards per attempt during his time with the Jayhawks.

West Virginia

Junior West Virginia offensive lineman Josh Sills — Like we noted above: West Virginia’s loss is Gundy’s gain.