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Cowboys Impressed With Young Defensive Players

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Sophomore linebacker Tyler Johnson (40) is one of several young players expected to step up on defense this year. Sophomore linebacker Tyler Johnson (40) is one of several young players expected to step up on defense this year.

STILLWATER, Oklahoma – Oklahoma State is best known for its explosive offense, but its defense could be what determines whether it can win a Big 12 Championship.

The Cowboys will be forced to rely on a lot of young talent, with freshmen and sophomores making up more than half of its two-deep depth chart. But so far those young players have impressed their teammates.

"Those young guys came in prepared," defensive back Brodrick Brown said. "I'm very happy for them. We've got a good freshman class."

Several players commented on the fact that incoming freshman have shown strong work ethic during the summer.

"There are a lot of fresh guys who really want to prove themselves," defensive end Jamie Blatnick. "At the same, they lack the experience, but I have faith in all of our young guys and I think they'll do great."

Fellow defensive players were not the only ones who had praise for their young teammates. Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon also had nice things to say.

"They're real physical," Blackmon said. "We've got a lot of kids over there that want to be here and want to play. They're real focused; they're watching film, they're showing up early, doing things like that over there on that side of the ball."

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