Big 12 Media Days: Oklahoma and Texas recap
ARLINGTON, Texas (KTEN) - The Red River Rivalry made it's way to AT&T Stadium Thursday for day two of Big 12 Media Days. Texas and Oklahoma are each looking for a fresh start this season.
Oklahoma is forced to start over after Lincoln Riley packs up and takes the essential parts to the previous Sooners team with him to the University of Southern California. The Sooners undergo a complete makeover with a new head coach, new starting quarterback, and offensive and defensive coordinators.
Former assistant coach for Oklahoma during the Bob Stoops age, Brent Venables takes on the challenge. Venables was the defensive coordinator at Clemson for 10 years where he won a pair of national titles with the Tigers.
Before that Venables coached at Kansas State where he also played linebacker for one year. This will be Venables 14th year with the Sooners, and the moment he left Kansas State for Oklahoma back in 1999, he knew he eventually wanted to end up in Norman.
"This was a very special opportunity for me," said Venables. "Oklahoma has been near and dear to my heart. I left in a very emotional state when I left Kansas State to come to Oklahoma, but my last words to Coach Snyder, as I was still learning and I had a ton of growth ahead of me, and as I told Coach Snyder, I wanted an opportunity to coach at a place like Oklahoma."
As of right now, UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel will be the new guy leading the offense. He'll have new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby coming from Ole Miss. Lebby worked with Gabriel at UCF back in 2019 where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the time.
"Dillon Gabriel is a winner. You can't say it any better than that. He's thrown for 8,000 yards, completed over 60 percent of his passes. He's our quarterback. Certainly anything can happen as we move forward through fall camp, but I feel great I can lay my head down at night knowing not just what he has done on the football field but the quality of the person he is."
Texas on the other hand is on the hunt to come back from a 5-7 finish last year in Steve Sarkisian's first year as head coach.
Sarkisian might not have had the best start with the team, but he got the offseason he needed with recruiting and quite a pool of long term potential players lined up.
The Longhorns landed Ohio State freshman quarterback transfer Quinn Ewers and the commitment of five-star 2023 recruit Arch Manning.
"I do believe that the quarterback position is the most important position in sports," said Sarkisian. "That's not just because of being able to throw post routes and curl routes and slant routes. I think the best quarterbacks, the great quarterbacks are influential people."
The team will still have star running back Bijan Robinson coming back, who was named Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Robinson had over 1,000 rushing yards last season and 11 touchdowns.
Texas Tech and TCU joined the list Thursday each also saying hello to new coaches. The Red Raiders land Joey McGuire while the Horned Frogs grab Sonny Dykes.
We'll preview their seasons later this week along with their thoughts on local standouts Plainview's Blake Nowell who plays for TCU and Gunter's Hutson Graham who will be joining Tech as a freshman this season.