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State of the Sooners: Oklahoma’s defensive line entering the 2014 spring game

by Jason Kersey Modified: April 10, 2014 at 10:20 am •  Published: April 10, 2014

Oklahoma's Matthew Romar (92) and Chuka Ndulue (98) bring down Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington (21) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. Oklahoma won 38-30. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Matthew Romar (92) and Chuka Ndulue (98) bring down Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington (21) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. Oklahoma won 38-30. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Continuing our unit-by-unit look at the 2014 Oklahoma football team, here is a look at the Sooners’ linebackers entering Saturday’s spring game.

DEFENSIVE END
85; Geneo Grissom; Sr.; 6-4; 263
98; Chuka Ndulue; Sr.; 6-3; 274
87; D.J. Ward; RFr.; 6-2; 245

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
80; Jordan Phillips; Jr.; 6-6; 324
93; Jordan Wade; So.; 6-4; 299
97; Charles Walker; RFr.; 6-2; 289
95; Quincy Russell; Sr.; 6-4; 315

DEFENSIVE END
91; Charles Tapper; Jr.; 6-4; 261
90; Matt Dimon; So.; 6-2; 268
84; Michael Onuoha; So.; 6-5; 235

Defensive line analysis: Just a year ago, this was believed to be the weakest unit on the entire team. Today, it might one of the deepest.

“As a competitor, as an athlete, as a human being, when someone dogs you, when someone says that you’re the weakest link of the team, it motivates you to be the best person you can be,” said senior defensive end Chuka Ndulue. “Now there are all these people praising us, but we can’t get carried away and relaxed with that. What we did to get here, we need to continue. We actually need to be better. Some of the games like Texas and Baylor, we can’t lose in those games. We could’ve been a national championship team.”

Defensive tackles Jordan Phillips and Quincy Russell will each miss the spring game, so OU fans will likely get a closer look at redshirt freshman Charles Walker, who has received rave reviews from teammates and coaches alike.

Senior Geneo Grissom is still listed as a defensive end, but expect to see him at outside linebacker some Saturday.

Obviously, Tapper and Ndulue are guys fans are familiar with, but the spring game should be a good opportunity to get a look at guys like Matt Dimon, Michael Onuoha and D.J. Ward.

Here’s a full schedule for the “State of the Sooners” series:
Wednesday, 9 a.m..: Special teams
Wednesday, noon.: Defensive backs
Wednesday, 3 p.m.: Linebackers
Thursday, 9 a.m.: Defensive linemen

Thursday, noon: Offensive linemen
Thursday, 3 p.m.: Tight ends
Friday, 9 a.m.: Wide receivers
Friday, noon: Running backs
Friday, 3 p.m.: Quarterbacks

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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