Three Key Pieces Announce Return to Oklahoma for 2024

After Danny Stutsman announced his decision to leave school early for the greener pastures of the NFL, Billy Bowman decided to return to Oklahoma for his senior season. Having Bowman back will be one of the biggest wins of the offseason for OU regardless of how the rest of it plays out. But the cherry on top of the whole offseason? Stutsman flipped his decision and will be returning to Oklahoma for a final season.

Oklahoma Gets Three Key Pieces Back for 2024

What Bowman Means to Oklahoma…

Bowman had a phenomenal season, one that earned him first-team All-American honors. Having him back at the safety position solidifies the secondary that was previously shrouded in doubt before his announcement.

The 5’10”, 192-pound defensive back was a ball hawk all season finishing with four passes defended, six interceptions, and three pick-sixes. He was also second on the team in tackles and will be the unquestioned leader of the secondary and the entire defense next season as Oklahoma enters a new era of SEC football.

Playing next to Bowman in the secondary will be former five-star and rising sophomore, Peyton Bowen, who showed flashes of his great potential this season. Bowen had 33 tackles, one sack, five passes defended, and one forced fumble as a true freshman and is the future of Brent Venables’ defense.

Another young player in the secondary that OU will expect more from next season is Robert Spears-Jennings. He primarily played safety, collecting 35 tackles and defending one pass this year.

With Bowman back in the fold, OU’s secondary should be one of the strongest position groups on the team next year and should be even better than they were this season.

Stutsman Announces Return With Legendary Video

Danny Stutsman shocked Sooner Nation after he released a video relaying his surprising decision to come back to Norman. The minute-long clip is narrated by and stars the best linebacker to ever don the crimson and cream: Brian Bosworth.

In the video, Stutsman wore a fur coat much like the one that Barry Switzer has been known to wear. The Boz throw Stutsman the keys to a Corvette and OU’s defensive standout climbs into the car and speeds off, after which his season highlights roll.

Along with Bowman, Stutsman will anchor a defense that has the talent and potential to be a top-20 unit in the country. His return will especially help the Sooners in their move to the SEC where everyone is bigger, faster, and stronger than OU’s Big 12 opponents. Stutsman was an All-American this season and will certainly be one of the preseason favorites to win the Butkus Award, which is given annually to the best linebacker in the country.

Stutsman’s video will be remembered for a long time among Sooner fans and he brings much-needed swagger and spirit to Oklahoma’s defense.

Ethan Downs Also Returns

Earlier this week, junior defensive lineman, Ethan Downs, also announced he would be returning to Oklahoma, which is more great news for the Sooner defense. He finished with 28 total tackles and led the team in sacks with four-and-a-half and was second in tackles for loss with six-and-a-half.

He should be one of Oklahoma’s most impactful players on defense next year, and he’ll have to help improve a defensive line that struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks at times this season. With Oklahoma most likely graduating several defensive linemen, Downs’ experience and play will be key for a position group that needs to be more productive and physical as the team enters the SEC.

Remember the Alamo Bowl

Despite the flurry of news surrounding the transfer portal and NFL declarations, Oklahoma still has one final game to play this season: the Alamo Bowl versus Arizona Wildcats in two weeks. Two pieces previewing matchups between the Sooners and the Wildcats will be coming soon.

Main Image: SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

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