Venables: OU DL Jacob Lacey will 'probably' medically retire due to blood clots

On3 imageby:George Stoia02/28/24

GeorgeStoia

OU will likely be without one of its starting defensive linemen in 2024. 

Coach Brent Venables said on the Oklahoma Breakdown podcast that senior Jacob Lacey will “probably” have to medically retire due to blood clots. Lacey recently announced his decision to return for one more year, adding to a host of Sooners returning to play in the SEC.

But Lacey has struggled with blood clot issues going back to last year when he nearly retired before last season. Lacey was cleared right before the 2023 season and started 11 games for OU. He totaled 16 tackles last season to go with 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack. 

On the podcast, Venables called Lacey’s news “a devastating blow.” And it is in several ways. OU does still return senior Da’Jon Terry. But other than Terry, the Sooners lack experience up front on defense. It will likely need freshmen David Stone and Jayden Jackson to be immediate contributors next season with Lacey likely retiring.  

In other injury news, Venables also announced that cornerback Gentry Williams will miss the spring due to labrum surgery. Williams battled a shoulder injury most of the season.

Cheetah linebacker Dasan McCullough could also miss some time in the spring after having a knee scope on his meniscus.

And Cheetah linebacker Justin Harrington will miss the spring as he still has not received his waiver from the NCAA for an extra year. Venables remains hopeful that Harrington will be granted a seventh year of eligibility. 

On the hiring of OU defensive coordinator Zac Alley:

“It was just time to get a new young, fresh face with new ideas that maybe really philosophically align with what we want to do transitioning into the SEC.” Added that he (Brent) realized after the first season he needed to be more involved in the defense and still will be, but Alley allows the whole operation and program to be “more efficient.”

Listen to the full Oklahoma Breakdown podcast with Venables here.

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