Oklahoma football recruiting spotlight: Freshman linebacker Jaren Kanak – Stormin' in Norman

Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables speaks to the crowd at half time during the men’s college game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Baylor Bears at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Venables
Jaren Kanak‘s recruiting process that landed him in the Oklahoma football program was a unique one to say the least.
The four-star linebacker prospect had been committed to Clemson under then defensive coordinator Brent Venables. When the Sooners made Venables their new head coach, Clemson, much like Oklahoma, experienced a bit of chaos in terms of recruiting decommitments and rumors of possible transfer portal entries.
Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney, and Venables had an agreement: Venables would not attempt to poach any of the players from the Tigers’ roster or any recruit who had already committed to Clemson.
Kanak found himself in an interesting spot. Venables is a legend in the state of Kansas, showing there is a path from the Sunflower State to the big-time. That connected with Kanak, a Hays, Kansas, native and consensus No. 1 recruit in the state of Kansas, in a big way. With Venables, the coach who recruited Kanak, heading to close-by Oklahoma, it was an opportunity the prized recruit could not un-see for himself.
Venables actually attempted to persuade Kanak to remain committed to Clemson, but the latter had ideas of his own. Kanak and his family sorted things out with Dabo, and he decided to just enroll at Oklahoma.
Former Sooner All-American quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, the king of such gutsy moves, even tweeted about it in compliment:
@KanakJaren I like your style… sometimes you just gotta go enroll and handle your own business.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) December 22, 2021

Kanak is an excellent athlete and Sooner fans should expect the young man to take early reps in Venables’ defense.  He brings a tenacity alongside killer speed. While he won’t play much offense at Oklahoma, you can see here he abuses would-be tacklers on the high school stage toting the rock.  Not only is the OU newcomer physically outstanding, but he is also a burner:
10.37 laser 100 at 210lbs💨 pic.twitter.com/fejpo5V2eF
— ✞ Jaren Kanak ✞ (@KanakJaren) May 14, 2021

Kanak plays football to honor his father, who passed away from injuries sustained in a car accident back in 2008, when Jaren was a just a toddler. He also is a star in track and field and has been praised by many around the program as a leader, and hard worker.
The book on Kanak is he is an explosive athlete who has burst to run sideline to sideline, play in coverage or be used in blitzes. He has drawn comparisons to New Orleans Saints NFL linebacker Demario Davis, according to 247sports. He was viewed as a possible middle linebacker, or a safety/linebacker hybrid, similar to former Clemson star, and Arizona Cardinal Isaiah Simmons
Kanak is a big-time get for the Sooners with and appears to be in line for immediate action.
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