Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Ranked in On3’s Top 10 Linebacker Unit Rankings

Oklahoma State's Nickolas Martin (4) celebrates an interception in the fourth quarter of the college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys and the Kansas State Wildcats at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Okla., Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. OSU won 29-21.

The heat of “Preseason List” season is upon us, as Way-Too-Early Top 25s and opening national title odds are old news and we begin to switch gears to the 2024 football season.

On3 has been releasing a very popular series of lists where they rank the Top 10 position units in college football. On Wednesday, Jesse Simonton dove into the best linebacker groups in the country, and one Big 12 program made the list.

Oklahoma State checks in at No. 5 on the list, and for the casual college football fan, that might come as a bit of a shocker, as Simonton points out.


“The Cowboys might have one of the better linebackers most casual fans aren’t aware of, as All-Big 12 honoree Nick Martin looks to best a season where he just recorded 140 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and six sacks,” Simonton writes.

However, it’s not just the Martin’s All-Big 12 season that puts the Pokes among a handful of the best linebacker corps in America.

“The Pokes’ unit could be even more dynamic in 2024, as Collin Oliver should be even more comfortable in his role as an off-ball linebacker after transitioning from end last season,” Simonton continues. “Oklahoma State doesn’t return much other experience, but seventh-year senior Justin Wright is back after missing most all of the 2023 season with an injury. Wright had over 100 tackles in 2022. Sophomore Donovan Stephens is also seen as a future impact player for the Cowboys, as well.”

The Cowboys rank behind Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, and former Big 12 foe Oklahoma on the list. Behind OSU is Clemson, Alabama, Kentucky, Notre Dame, and LSU. Simonton lists Arizona, Auburn, Penn State, and Oregon as the best of the rest.

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