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Freshman linebackers have big performances

By Jake Trotter Modified: April 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm •  Published: April 12, 2009

p /> “They like to run into things. You can imagine as kids all the cuts they probably had. They don't cower away,” said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. “I love their attitude in regards to getting after it and not being overwhelmed.

“If they continue to improve, I think at least a couple of them will help us next fall.”

That's high praise for the three, considering OU's depth at linebacker and the fact that Venables doesn't make a habit of playing true freshman linebackers.

The last freshman linebacker to not redshirt was Curtis Lofton, who would become a consensus All-American and now starts for the Atlanta Falcons.

“If history is an indicator, (freshman linebackers) usually have a bigger learning curve, but I really felt after the first couple practices, this isn't that hard for these guys,” Venables said.

“Then, also after the first couple practices they're all over the field striking people, even if they're striking the wrong guys. That fearless attitude and physical presence usually doesn't come right away.

“But I'm counting on them to continue to progress and be ready to go in the fall.”

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