Clemson’s Brent Venables tells players he’s leaving for Oklahoma

Vincent Frank
Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Brent Venables is among the most-respected defensive minds in the moderen history of college football. He’s now using that status to take over one of the richest programs in the nation.

Fresh off reports that Venables was stepping down as Clemson’s defensive coordinat to become the next head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners comes this piece of information.

According to Mike Gillespie ABC News in South Carolina, Venables has told his Tigers players that he’s leaving for Norman.

Brent Venables, 50, has served as the Clemson defensive coordinator since all the way back in 2012. He’s helped turn that program into a national powerhouse working under the legendary Dabo Swinney while churning out defenses that have consistently been among the best in the country. Prior to that, he served as the defensive coordinator with the aforementioned Sooners from 1999-2011.

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Oklahoma goes against the grain with Brent Venables

brent venables, oklahoma
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables talks with media in Clemson, S.C., September 20, 2021. Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables Interview (Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Typically Big 12 programs go with offensive-minded head coaches. That’s obviously been the case with Oklahoma. Lincoln Riley served as the team’s head coach from 2017-21 before recently departing for the USC Trojans. He’s been seen as a quarterback guru in Norman.

Prior to that, Bob Stoops brought a defensive pedigree with him to Oklahoma. However, he helped morph that team into juggernaut on offense. You have to go all the way back to 1998 with John Blake in order to find an Oklahoma coach that was centrally focused on defense.

There’s certainly a reason for this. Oklahoma and Texas will soon depart the Big 12 for the SEC. That has to be one of the reasons why the Sooners opted to go with a defensive-minded coach.

Either way, this is a big get for Oklahoma just a short while after it shockingly lost the aforementioned Riley to Southern California.