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OSU's Derek Burton making most of switch to defensive tackle

BRANDON CHATMON Modified: August 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm •  Published: August 14, 2009
STILLWATER — After moving from defensive end to defensive tackle during the spring, Oklahoma State’s Derek Burton remembers the first time he tried to use one of his go-to moves while lining up at his new position.

"I got pushed into the tackle and drove to the sideline,” Burton said. "You do (that) once and realize you should never do that again.”

It’s been a difficult transition from the space and freedom of the end position to the gritty, physical nature of the tackle spot.

"We needed some depth, and he was big enough and smart enough to make that move,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "It’s a difficult transition, but he’s getting better every practice.”

Burton had been a defensive end for his entire football career until he made the switch.

"It’s been rough.” said Burton. "But it’s something I’ve looked forward to, it’s a challenge.”

"At defensive end, there’s a lot more space. Inside (at defensive tackle), you get hit every play, and you have to be able to hold up. You have to have a lot better leverage. You have to understand when you can and can’t use moves. It’s a whole new ballgame.”

Burton finished with 23 tackles, including 5.5 for loss in 13 starts at defensive end as a junior.


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