“We're going to be inexperienced there,” Watkins said. “We're getting better every day but we'll see what those guys can do once the games start.”
On either side of the linebackers, though, Guthrie figures to once again be solid on defense.
Four starters return on the defensive line, with nose guard being the only open spot.
Trevor Blassingame and Richard Brothers will be two of the biggest pieces to Guthrie's defensive front.
The secondary also comes back mostly intact, with only Davis' spot needing a new face.
The Bluejays are once again in a tough district, with Carl Albert, Deer Creek, McGuinness and El Reno, but Guthrie once again figures to be a state-title contender.
Watkins will miss the season's first four games in serving the end of a suspension that began with the playoffs last year.
But he doesn't anticipate that being an issue as defensive coordinator Kelly Beeby will coach the team on game nights and Watkins can coach during the week of practice.