OU football notebook: Lack of depth on D-line of no concern to Stoops
The only player on Oklahoma’s defensive line with starting experience is senior Chuka Ndulue. He’s making the move from defensive end to defensive tackle this is year.
In every from sense, the Sooners are rebuilding the defensive line. This will be the first year under new defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. And there are going to be several players getting their first real game action this season.
If OU coach Bob Stoops is concerned, he showed a good poker face Saturday at the Sooners’ Media Day.
“I believe there’s some capable guys coming up and they’re going to have a chance to be good players,” he said. “They just haven’t had the chance to be on the field as much yet. Again, there’s different positions every year that that’s very much the case.”
Stoops threw out the analogy of OU’s wide receivers last season. The group entered preseason camp very thin. But freshman Sterling Shepard emerged, the addition of Penn State transfer Justin Brown was a major boost and getting Jalen Saunders eligible midway through the season helped make the group one of the best in the Big 12.
The only potential defensive line help OU could add before the season starts is juco transfer Quincy Russell. But the defensive tackle isn’t on campus yet.
“We’re still finishing some classes. We’re hopeful that will be finished next week,” Stoops said.
Nonetheless, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said an essential element for the unit to improve is some impact defensive linemen.
The head coach feels like the potential is there, but admitted there’s a difference between being impactful and playing like an All-American.
“We feel we have some guys that are capable of being like that. Is there Gerald McCoy? No,” Stoops said. “That’s not going to happen every year either.”