OSU’s defense must replace seven senior starters and more, with several other key backups also missing from a year ago.
So, who’s next?
A look at the credentials of the candidates:
DE Sam Wren, 6-2, 255, Sr.: A four-star junior college defensive end by ESPN.com a year ago, Wren played in all 13 games and totaled 22 tackles, including 12 solo stops. The hope, as always, is that Wren thrives in Year 2 at this level.
DT Ofa Hautau, 6-0, 290 Sr.: Another juco addition last year, Hautau served as Calvin Barnett’s backup and now steps into the starting spot.
LB Kris Catlin, 6-1, 255, Jr.: A Texas Top 100 recruit out of San Antonio in 2011, he’s been blocked in previous seasons, but finally gets his shot as a junior.
LB Seth Jacobs, 6-2, 220, So.: A former California All-State pick who posted 151 tackles his senior season, Jacobs is in line to fill a feature role as a sophomore.
CB Ashton Lampkin, 5-11, 180, Jr.: A Texas Top 100 recruit from Arlington, Lampkin has played in every game in two seasons as a Cowboy. He steps into Justin Gilbert’s significant void.
S Deric Robertson, 6-2, 195, So.: Another Texas Top 100 out of Killeen, earned increasing playing time as a true freshman a year ago.
S Jordan Sterns, 6-1, 195, So.: A Texas Class 5A All-State selection from Cibolo and Scout.com’s No. 30-ranked safety nationally, Sterns played in 12 games as a true freshman last season.
More to watch
DE Trace Clark, 6-4, 250, Jr.: A Super Prep All-American and the No. 13 prospect in the Midlands in 2012, Clark will at least be in the rotation and is pushing to start.
DE Emmanuel Ogbah, 6-4, 270, So.: A former Greater Houston Defensive Player of the Year, Ogbah tied for the team lead with four sacks as a redshirt freshman reserve in 2013 and is in line for more playing time.
DL Vili Leveni, 6-3, 275, Fr.: A Fort Worth-area standout, Leveni bulked up while redshirting as a freshman last fall. His versatility in showing he can play end and tackle has been a major buzz of the spring.
LB Devante Averette, 6-0, 235, Jr.: A First-Team Juco All-American, Averette enrolled in January in hope of speeding up his transition. He’ll be in the mix.
S Tre Flowers, 6-3, 180, Fr.: Scout.com’s No. 32 safety in arriving from Converse, Texas, as a freshman a year ago. After a redshirt season, he’s been making plays this spring and relaxing some of the depth concerns at safety.