'09 Position Preview: Defensive Line

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 25, 2009
 2009 Defensive Linemen
 #84 Frank Alexander | So. | DE | 6-4 | 259
 #44 Jeremy Beal | Jr. | DE | 6-3 | 261
 #81 Jarrett Brown | Fr. | DE | 6-3 | 252
 #95 Justin Chaisson | Fr. | DE | 6-4 | 257
 #33 Auston English | Sr. | DE | 6-3 | 251
 #96 DeMarcus Granger | Sr. | DT | 6-2 | 327
 #62 Tola Jimoh | Sr. | DE | 6-0 | 232
 #90 David King | R-Fr. | DE | 6-5 | 236
 #94 Pryce Macon | Jr. | DE | 6-1 | 249
 #93 Gerald McCoy | Jr. | DT | 6-4 | 297
 #97 Jamarkus McFarland | Fr. | DT | 6-2 | 296
 #92 Stacy McGee | R-Fr. | DL | 6-4 | 272
 #89 Cordero Moore | Sr. | DT | 6-2 | 310
 #86 Adrian Taylor | Jr. | DT | 6-4 | 291
 #53 Casey Walker | R-Fr. | DL | 6-0 | 302
 #91 R.J. Washington | R-Fr. | DE | 6-3 | 247
 Preseason Multimedia
 Video  Aug. 6 - D-Tackles in Preseason Drills
 Video  Aug. 6 - Coach Shipp Works D-Line
 Video  Aug. 6 - DE Jeremy Beal Interview
 Video  Aug. 7 - R.J. Washington at Media Day
 Video  Aug. 7 - Gerald McCoy at Media Day
 Video  Aug. 9 - Defensive Ends Work Sled
 Video  Aug. 9 - Coach Wilson Works DEs
 Video  Aug. 9 - Coach Shipp & D-Tackles
 Video  Aug. 10 - Oklahoma Drill: OL vs. DL
 Video  Aug. 11 - Wilson Works DEs on Sled
 Video  Aug. 11 - OL and DL Go One-on-One
 Video  Aug. 12 - Linemen Go Head-to-Head
 Video  Aug. 12 - Offensive & Defensive Lines
 Video  Aug. 13 - Coach Wilson & D-Ends
 Video  Aug. 13 - Defensive Tackles Hit Sled
 Video  Aug. 13 - D-Tackles Battle Cones
 Video  Aug. 14 - DTs, DEs vs. Offensive Line
 Video  Aug. 14 - O-Line vs. Defensive Line
 Video  Aug. 14 - Battle at Line of Scrimmage
 Video  Aug. 14 - Linemen Go Head-to-Head
 Video  Aug. 15 - DE Auston English Interview
 Video  Aug. 17 - Offensive Line vs. D-Line
 Video  Aug. 17 - Linemen Go Head-to-Head
 Video  Aug. 17 - Coach Wilson Works the DEs
 Video  Aug. 18 - Coach Wilson, Defensive Ends
 Video  Aug. 18 - Defensive Ends in Shuffle Drill
 Video  Aug. 19 - Defensive Line & Dive Drill
 Video  Aug. 19 - Defensive Line Drills Chute
 Video  Aug. 19 - O-Line vs. Defensive Line
 Video  Aug. 19 - D-Tackles Drill with Sled
 Video  Aug. 21 - Offensive Line vs. D-Line
 Related Information
 2009 Preseason Practice Central
 2009 Big 12 Football Media Days
 Roster | Depth Chart | 2009 Schedule
 Video Library
SoonerSports.com provides a position-by-position preview of the 2009 OU football team. Stay tuned throughout the week as we break down each of the eight major position areas:

QBs | OL | DL | RBs | LBs | WRs | DBs | SP

NORMAN, Okla. -- An injury to Auston English in 2008 wound up being a blessing in disguise when it forced Oklahoma to get Frank Alexander to the field quicker and more frequently than had been anticipated.
Alexander was more than up to the task and now returns for his sophomore season pushing to maintain a starting job. English is back too, along with two-year starter Jeremy Beal to make this a well-stocked position in both experience and talent.
"We're fortunate to say the least in that we have had a number of good players develop into great players," said OU defensive ends coach Chris Wilson.
"We feel very good about the four-to-five guys we have in the rotation right now and then on our next level of younger guys, we feel good about getting them into the system, letting them develop and having them contribute in the future."
Two players who redshirted in 2008, David King and R.J. Washington, are currently locked into a tight battle for the fourth and fifth spots in the defensive end rotation. Junior Pryce Macon rounds out the returning defensive ends group after seeing action in seven games last season.
The signing class also was replete with ends including Jarrett Brown and Justin Chaisson.
There is an expectation that Oklahoma will be capable of exerting considerable pressure off the edge. Of course, the same may be true up the middle with a talented corps of defensive tackles. The ring leader is All-American Gerald McCoy, who is a leading contender for both the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy. His running mate last season and a very capable player himself, Adrian Taylor, also returns. While the two put the position in great hands, they still look to continue to improve under OU defensive line coach Jackie Shipp.
"We want to be better than we were last year. It's the same thing, working on technique and effort and gaining more knowledge of the mental part of the game. If they improve on those things, they'll continue improve," said Shipp.
From there, the tackle positions are less certain. Cory Bennett graduated and DeMarcus Granger had back surgery, so half of the four-man rotation from 2008 is either gone or somewhat questionable. Granger looks to return to prominence this season while in a battle with three other returning defensive tackles and a new face to the program.
Cordero Moore got snaps at tackle in 10 games last season. He returns along with redshirt freshmen Stacy McGee and Casey Walker. The incoming class includes an outstanding prospect in Jamarkus McFarland. All four, along with Granger, are in a tightly contested race for the backup positions behind McCoy and Taylor.
Oklahoma has been rock solid at the defensive tackle position for some time and there is no indication of anything less in '09. The same can really be said for the entire defensive front.



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