Raiders WR Cooper making return vs. Chiefs

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Raiders WR Cooper making return vs. Chiefs

Postprzez linlybest 12 gru 2017, o 09:23

DALLAS With his statuesque 6 9, 280 pound frame, Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman is one of the most intimidating sights in college football.

College quarterbacks are going to have to deal with him one more season.

Though he's projected as a top 15 first round pick in the 2015 NFL draft, Oakman said he plans to return for his senior year at Baylor at Monday's Cotton Bowl press conference. He believes he can improve his skill set and raise his draft stock with another year on the Bears' defense.

"The things I'm going to do in the offseason could catapult me to No. 1, so why not stay?" Oakman said. "The way I see it now is I haven't done anything spectacular. I just know my potential and work ethic are so much higher."

Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett's eyes lit up when he heard Oakman's plans. While Oakman made third team All America and was a consensus all Big 12 pick, Bennett thinks he will become an even more dynamic and consistent player by returning for his final season at Baylor.

Bennett believes the gifted Oakman can be one of the top picks in the 2016 draft like NFL linemen Jadeveon Clowney and Ndamukong Suh. Clowney was the first overall pick by the Houston Texans out of South Carolina last spring while Suh was the second pick in the 2010 draft out of Nebraska by the Detroit Lions. "He's made progress but he's not where he's going to be. I've told him this and I'm honest with him. Another year is what he needs."

College underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the 2015 draft. But Oakman thinks another year of developing his technique and skill will make him more prepared to step into the NFL in 2016.

"My future is promising on both sides of the NFL and college," Oakman said. "But I Cheap China Jerseys have unfinished business. Looking at my body of work, it's not good enough for me to leave. All the pieces have got to fall into place."

Oakman often terrorized quarterbacks this season with 10 sacks while recording 181/2 tackles for loss. But he's gone through stretches where he hasn't been effective.

"There are plays that I completely dominate, but at the same time I could dominate every play," Oakman said. "I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and work on technique and fundamentals."

When Baylor safety Orion Stewart heard the news, he grabbed Oakman's head and hugged him. The Bears will only lose two starters from this year's defense: linebacker Bryce Hager and nickelback Collin Brence.

"That's big time for us knowing he's coming back," Stewart said. "Shawn's a big time player, he's a vocal leader and I'm excited playing safety in front of a D line like that."

Bennett knew Oakman had remarkable potential when he was Pitt's defensive coordinator under Dave Wannstedt from 2008 10. As a senior at Penn Wood High School in Landsdowne, Pa., the big man collected 16 sacks after making 17 sacks as a junior.

"His uncle brought him wholesale jerseys to the University of Pittsburgh," Bennett said. "It was a Saturday and I lived right by the complex. Dave Wannstedt said, 'Get down here.' He was imposing, and wow, I can work with that."

Oakman was also a talented center for a Penn Wood basketball team that won the 2009 state championship and was the state runner up in 2010. His football mentality carried over to the basketball court.

"I was too aggressive," Oakman said. "That's why I'm playing football right now."

Wannstedt resigned at Pitt following a 7 5 season in 2010, but Oakman stayed in state to play college football when he signed with Penn State.

But after redshirting in the fall of 2011, Oakman was dismissed by Penn State the following spring after a confrontation with a store clerk at a campus convenience store after his student meal card had run out.

Former Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson reached out to Baylor safeties coach Brian Norwood who had coached defensive backs for the Nittany Lions from 2001 07. Bennett was excited to get a chance to coach Oakman after seeing him as a high school player.

"I said, 'Oh, I know him,' and it sort of fell into place," Bennett said. "The day he came down here it had to be 110 degrees. I said, 'This is not Philadelphia.'"

Due to NCAA transfer rules, Oakman had to sit out his first season at Baylor in 2012. When he regained his eligibility last fall, Oakman was already 21 years old and hadn't played a down of college football.

"You sit out for so many years and wonder if you've still got it," Oakman said. "In my first few games I didn't have it. I came along slowly but surely. I feel I came a long way, but I still see myself growing every day."

Playing behind senior defensive ends Chris McAllister and Terrance Lloyd, Oakman put up solid numbers as a third year sophomore in 2013 as he collected 12 tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Moving into a starting role this season, Oakman knew he had to be more consistent and put up bigger numbers. He finished the regular season tied for wholesale jerseys the Big 12 lead with TCU linebacker Paul Dawson with 18 tackles for loss while ranking third with his 10 sacks. He's also recovered three fumbles.

"Shawn has made a tremendous impact," Baylor defensive tackle Beau Blackshear said. "It's a lot easier knowing you've got a 6 9 pass rusher coming off the edge making the quarterback scramble out of the pocket. He's helped us all grow together."

The Michigan State offensive linemen will face a major challenge as they try to contain Oakman in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day. They haven't seen anybody built like Oakman this season.

"Oregon's guys were tall but 6 9 might be a new one for us," Michigan State guard Travis Jackson said. "He's huge and is one of those guys that's long and athletic. You want to go against the best in the country and that's what Shawn Oakman is."

While Oakman is an imposing sight to opponents, he keeps the Baylor locker room loose with his fun loving personality.
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