NORMAN, Oklahoma – Oklahoma will need to replace All-Big 12 defensive end Jeremy Beal, but the Sooners luckily have a slew of players ready to fill the void.
The Sooners relied heavily on Beal and Frank Alexander last season, and Alexander will be a key factor this year as well. But behind him OU boasts a lot of depth.
"We've got probably six guys, a group of six, that we feel like we could put in and play and not lose anything," defensive end coach Bobby Jack Wright said.
The Sooners originally slated Ronnell Lewis as their second starter, but he has gone through a tumultuous offseason. He first had eligibility concerns and now is dealing with personal matters that have kept him out of practice.
Lewis' status for OU's first game against Tulsa remains up in the air. If he is unable to play, the starting job likely would fall to junior David King, who has been impressive during the offseason.
"I feel like we'll be better than we were last year because everybody's buying into being a leader," King said. "We're not leaning on just one person to lead us; we're doing it as a collective group, so I feel like we're going to be a lot better this year."