Oklahoma's first year under new Sooners coach Brent Venables featured a number of infamous lowlights. The 2022 season marked the first time since 1998 -- coincidentally, the last time Oklahoma made an external coaching hire -- that the Sooners finished with a record below .500, posted a losing record in conference play and lost a game in a shutout.
Venables did not rest on his laurels after the disappointing campaign, bringing in the No. 4 high school recruiting class and No. 8 transfer class in the nation. Three five-star prospects are coming to campus, along with nine transfers from the Power Five level. The Sooners now enter a critical season as they attempt to close out their time in the Big 12 with another conference championship.
With 73 players added over the past two recruiting and transfer classes, Oklahoma's roster now fully belongs to Venables. Here's everything you need to know as the Sooners enter a pivotal spring game on Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma.
How to watch 2023 Oklahoma spring game live
Date: Saturday, April 22 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium -- Norman, Oklahoma
Live stream: ESPN+ (with subscription)
2023 Oklahoma spring game storylines
1. Rebuilding the trenches: The Sooners struggled to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball after losing a number of players to the NFL. Now, three offensive line starters are gone, while the defense line hopes to bounce back from a wildly disappointing first campaign. Venables leaned on the transfer portal to fill both roles. Stanford tackle Walter Rouse will fill one spot, but battles will commence for a guard and the other tackle spot. Defensively, Oklahoma State transfer Trace Ford and Texas State's Davon Sears will compete with returners and a handful of ridiculously talented freshmen -- including five-star Adepoju Adebawore -- for spring game snaps. Competition breeds excellence, and the Sooners have plenty of it.
2. QB of the future: Senior Dillon Gabriel will start at quarterback for the Sooners in 2023, but the future is on campus. Early-enrollee Jackson Arnold rated as the No. 10 overall player and best prospect in Texas in the Top247 rankings out of Denton (Texas) Guyer. He received a first-round projection from 247Sports national scouting analyst Gabe Brooks and is considered to be a future elite passer. After Davis Beville's struggles during the Red River Showdown, it's likely that Arnold will get a shot to win the backup job with a strong spring game, which would be significant for the future of the program.
3. Settling down at WR: The Jeff Lebby offense is built to emphasize receiver talent, but an inconsistent room ultimately doomed the Sooners in a handful of close games. Top two receivers Marvin Mims and Brayden Willis are off to the NFL, leaving Jalil Farooq and Drake Stoops as the only returning pass-catchers with more than 61 yards receiving. Tight ends Blake Smith and Austin Stogner will help, but the Sooners are starving for explosive playmakers. Will any flash in the spring game?