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Kellen Jones transfers to Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- Freshman linebacker Kellen Jones has transferred from Michigan to Oklahoma.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops announced Tuesday that Jones would be eligible to play for the Sooners this year. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be able to crack the rotation right away.

"If history is indicative, I think he's got his work cut out for him," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who coaches the linebackers. "It's what he's willing to put into it because he hasn't been here and hasn't learned. Being in shape mentally and physically and emotionally, everything has happened pretty fast.

"If he can, that's a bonus. That'd be a big-time positive."

Oklahoma finds itself shorthanded at linebacker. Middle linebacker Austin Box died of a drug overdose during the offseason and Travis Lewis, the top tackler the past three seasons, will miss the first month of the season with a broken toe.

So maybe Jones can help.

"He's got a lot to learn but honestly in the meeting rooms he's been impressive," middle linebacker Tom Wort said. "He's been studying his playbook and he knows his stuff. Right now, he didn't get the summer conditioning that we had, so right now he's working on that and just trying to get in shape and kind of just learn it all.

"He's a young guy, he can step up, but we've got to get him in full pads first."

Jones signed with the Wolverines in February out of St. Pius X High School in Houston but decided to leave the program before the season arrived. He has been in partial pads during practice the last couple days.

He is listed at 6-foot-1 and 223 pounds and Venables described him as "very physical, very sudden and explosive."

"Kellen is one fiery dude," Wort said. "I'm talking he don't even have pads on and he was out there talking smack."