WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Ahead of the Oklahoma Sooners Week 1 matchup against Arkansas State Saturday, Hays native Jaran Kanak was named as a starter.

Kanak has been with the Oklahoma program since 2022. He originally committed to play for Clemson out of high school in Hays but flipped his commitment after Brent Venables — who was the defensive coordinator at Clemson — took the Oklahoma head coaching position.

Kanak played in all 13 games last season for the Sooners in a backup role and on special teams. This time, he’ll be rolling out with the first team, though Venables said he plans to use a rotation at the position to keep things fresh.

“For us to play at the level I expect us to play at, it’s not gonna be just Jaren,” Venables said Tuesday.

At Hays, Kanak played both linebacker and quarterback his senior season. He set single-season school records for rushing yards with 1,615 and scoring with 142 points. For his career, he compiled a school-record 5,608 total yards.

Oklahoma begins its season against Arkansas State on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. and will air on the ESPN family of networks.