January 14, 2013

2013 Outlook Series: Defensive Line

With news concerning Oklahoma State football coming in slow this time of year, we at O-State Illustrated will dive into a new series.

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be breaking down each position and its outlook for both spring ball and the 2013 season.

We'll start with one side of the big uglies up front, the defensive line.

The line is getting a new coach in Joe Bob Clements this season after defensive coordinator Bill Young, their former coach, and the team parted ways last week.

Key Losses

[/db]Ryan Robinson[/db]: 32 total tackles (8th on the team), 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks

Nigel Nicholas: 28 tackles (11th on team), 5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks

Cooper Bassett: 21 tackles, 2 tackles for loss

Outlook: The Cowboy defensive line played great this season, which showed when you look at their stats. They allowed 3.73 yards per carry, and were one of the biggest reasons the team was ranked 36th in the nation in rushing defense.

They bring back dominant defensive tackles Calvin Barnett and James Castleman in the middle, who accounted for 60 tackles (30 apiece), 15 tackles for loss and a sack each. They also get back tackles Anthony Rogers and Davidell Collins, who were brought in quite a bit as well this season in the defense's two-deep scheme.

While they're set at defensive tackle, defensive end is a different story. The Pokes lost Robinson, Nicholas and Bassett, but return Tyler Johnson, who was one of the only other ends to get a lot of experience this season.

It's tough to speculate who might emerge as a starting contender in spring ball, but based on playing time this past season, Jimmy Bean might be a name you start to hear more of. He played in the early games in 2012 before suffering a season-ending injury and being shut down for the remainder of the season.

Emmanuel Ogbah, and possibly even early-enrollee Naim Mustafaa could be in the mix as well, though it isn't out of the question for the coaching staff to move a player from another position in if the players at end aren't getting the job done, just as they did by moving Johnson from linebacker.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!