OU Football

Oklahoma is optimistic freshman Clayton Smith can replace Ronnie Perkins’ production

Oklahoma is optimistic freshman Clayton Smith can replace Ronnie Perkins’ production

By John Hoover


When Ronnie Perkins was a freshman at Oklahoma, the Sooner defensive front was populated by upperclassmen like Neville Gallimore, Kenneth Mann and Amani Bledsoe.

That trio combined for 14.5 tackles for loss and six quarterback sacks in 2018.

But after arriving on campus, Perkins didn’t bide his time and simply wait his turn.

In his first taste of big time college football, he produced eight TFLs and five sacks all by himself.

Now with Perkins off to the NFL Draft, OU coaches are hoping his production in the opposing backfield (he had 10.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks in just six games last season) can be replaced by another incoming youngster: freshman pass rusher Clayton Smith.

“He can be really good,” said rush linebacker Nik Bonitto. “Just off the bat, his athleticism — it’s not normal for a freshman. He comes in, he can run, he can jump. He can do all that stuff.”


For the entire story, please visit https://www.si.com/college/oklahoma/football/oklahoma-is-optimistic-that-clayton-smith-can-replace-ronnie-perkins-production

OU Football

Ryan Chapman covers Oklahoma Athletics and the Oklahoma City Thunder for 107.7 The Franchise since 2019. In December of 2020, Chapman was named the Deputy Editor of Sports Illustrated Sooners, and he also is a contributor for Sports Illustrated Thunder. Chapman has previously worked for OCCC's Student Newspaper, The Pioneer, where Chapman covered the Oklahoma City Energy, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, Oklahoma Athletics and the Oklahoma City Thunder. During his time with The Pioneer, Chapman served as the Sports Editor as well as the Editor-in-Chief.

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