OU football: New-look defense the top storyline of Sooners' spring practices

by Jason Kersey Published: March 2, 2013
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photo - BEDLAM FOOTBALL / CELEBRATION: Oklahoma's Aaron Colvin (14) celebrates breaking up a pass intended for Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) during the Bedlam college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. OU won 51-48 in overtime. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
BEDLAM FOOTBALL / CELEBRATION: Oklahoma's Aaron Colvin (14) celebrates breaking up a pass intended for Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) during the Bedlam college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. OU won 51-48 in overtime. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma is in good shape at the interior positions; Seniors Adam Shead and Bronson Irwin each played well despite some nagging injuries last season, and Tyler Evans and Nila Kasitati will both be back from ACL tears. If needed, Ty Darlington could easily take over the center position, allowing Gabe Ikard to play guard. Junior-college transfer Dionte Savage could also contribute.

3. New faces on the coaching staff

Bob Stoops' coaching staff is filled with the hiring of former Auburn assistant Jay Boulware, who will coach tight ends and special teams. Stoops also added offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, who came from West Virginia and Michigan, respectively.

All of the new coaches inherit position groups in need of improvement. In Oklahoma's three 2012 losses, it was beaten in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The tight end position became largely irrelevant last season — in part due to Oklahoma's abundance of wide receivers — but also because the tight ends on campus failed to produce and/or stay healthy.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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