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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys have good depth on defensive line

by John Helsley Published: August 20, 2014
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— Oklahoma State lost All-Big 12 defensive tackle Calvin Barnett... and got better up front?

That’s the value of depth, which Mike Gundy said has never been better along the defensive line in his time as Cowboys head coach.

“I believe we’re better than we were last year,” Gundy said.

And the Cowboys were good last year.

But aside from Barnett, everyone returns. And those who are back have worked and developed into what OSU coaches consider a formidable front.

It starts with tackle James Castleman, entering his third season as a starter. It includes rising star end Jimmy Bean. And Emmanuel Ogbah, the starter opposite Bean, could be on the verge of his own breakout.

Where Barnett formerly dominated, Ofa Hautau steps in as a powerful plug to enemy road games.

And there’s more than ample depth, too. Backup ends Trace Clark and Sam Wren are starter quality and fit for heavy play in a rotation. Freshmen tackles Ben Hughes and Vincent Taylor, along with sophomore Eric Davis, represent the next wave.

Still others are impressing and pushing for playing time, too.

“I think we’re getting good play up front,” said OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, who is rebuilding elsewhere. “Those older guys, like Castleman, Ofa, Jimmy, Sam and Trace, give us some good ends and some good defensive tackles.”

Cowboys defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements is hesitant with praise, yet admits that his group is “getting closer and closer.”

I’m pleased with the way they’re working,” Clements said. “I’m pleased with the way my depth is developing.”

Just in time for Florida State.

“As far as feeling at ease with who we’re getting to match up with, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that good about it,” Clements said.

“We’ll play hard and we’ll be as ready as we can possibly be.”

Defensive Ends

Starters

92 Jimmy Bean;;6-5;;250;;Jr.;;Denton, Texas

Starting every game a year ago, Bean improved steadily as the season progressed, emerging as a threatening edge rusher. He finished with 41/2 sacks and 91/2 tackles for losses.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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