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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

Here is a look at the top storylines for the Oklahoma football team heading into spring practice this week:

1. New-look defense?

Oklahoma coaches have denied making any firm decisions about their 2013 defensive scheme, but all signs point to a switch to the 3-4 (three defensive linemen, four linebackers). The new-look defense also includes lots of new faces.

Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin, who considered bolting for the NFL Draft, senior defensive back Gabe Lynn and junior defensive end Chuka Ndulue are the only returning defenders with a significant number of career starts.

Typically, in 3-4 schemes, traditional defensive ends back off the line of scrimmage and become outside linebackers. The three down linemen are usually defensive tackles, and the Sooners have few of them. Four defensive tackles were signed in OU's 2013 recruiting class, but there are only three on campus for spring practices.

2. Improved offensive line

Once junior-college transfer Josiah St. John arrives in the summer, he'll likely take on a significant role on the two-deep at tackle. For now, though, the tackle position remains pretty thin.

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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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