The Oklahoma defensive line received a boost on Tuesday morning as LaRon Stokes decided to return for the 2021 season, according to The Athletic’s Jason Kersey.
LaRon Stokes was eligible to return thanks to the NCAA granting all players during the 2020 season a free year of eligibility. In the 2020 season, he played in eight games while making five starts and also missed three games due to injury. He racked up 12 total tackles and 2.5 for loss.
Stokes was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2019 after transferring from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. The Tulsa native had a more effective first season in Norman in 2019, playing in 13 of 14 games with 10 starts, while making 15 total tackles and 4.5 for loss.
Stokes coming back is a nice boost for the defense line that did lose Ronnie Perkins to the NFL Draft. But Oklahoma’s defense under Alex Grinch is shaping up to be just fine. On Monday, Oklahoma landed Tennessee defensive back transfer Key Lawrence, who was a Top-100 player in the Class of 2020. Lawrence will be expected to take over at cornerback or nickelback.
But with Stokes also back in the fold, Oklahoma remains the team to beat in the Big 12 in 2021.
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