Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops not down on his defense
OU’s defense was a little shaky in 2011 and now is missing some of its best players from a year: Frank Alexander, Ronnell Lewis, Jamell Fleming, Travis Lewis. Plus, defensive tackle Stacy McGee is suspended.
But that doesn’s strike Bob Stoops as all that big of an exodus. “I don’t see so many” gone, Stoops said. “It’s natural to graduate guys at the college level.”
Stoops said of defensive ends Alexander and Ronnell Lewis, “We replace ‘em with two seniors who have been rotating (David King, R.J. Washington). They’ve played as many snaps, or close to. They’re always the mainstays.” King has been moved to tackle, but Stoops was undeterred. “Chuka (Ndulue) has really come on. Jordan Phillips really adds a lot to go with those guys inside (at tackle). Are they going to be the same? We’ll see.”
And then Stoops said something very interesting: “As far as corners, Aaron Colvin’s every bit the corner Jamell Fleming was. So Aaron, I’ve got great confidence in.”
Fleming was an excellent player. I thought he was OU’s best defender last season, and I’m president of the Frank Alexander Fan Club. Fleming was tough and talented. He was a third-round NFL draft pick. And Stoops says Colvin is just as good as Fleming was. Stoops said Colvin is as athletic as any cornerback OU’s had during his 14 years.
I have no idea how good OU’s defense will be. But I know this. The four most important positions in football are quarterback, defensive tackle, cornerback and center.
The Sooners are Grade A at QB, cornerback and center (Gabe Ikard). OU is decent at defensive tackle with Jamarkus McFarland, King, Phillips and perhaps Casey Walker, who is mysteriously questionable for the UTEP game Saturday night. Plus McGee, if he gets back in the good graces. That’s not a bad foundation on which to build a team.
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