Oklahoma's defense just got a gigantic boost in the return of Jamell Fleming. A quick look at the depth chart officially shows Fleming back on the roster. In 2010 Fleming led the Sooners in interceptions with five and also had 14 pass break up. In addition he recorded 71 total tackles including 8.5 for loss. His return gives Oklahoma their 9th returning starter on defense and answers on of the biggest question marks going into the fall.
Fleming will be a senior this fall and has been replaced by sophomore Gabe Lynn as the starter. I would expect Lynn to be the starter against Tulsa with Fleming getting some playing time. The truth is, Lynn earned the starting spot this spring and legitimately deserves to start but the question is, how long can you keep an all-conference corner on the sideline?
The Sooners already boast the best linebacker groups in the nation with starters and All-Americans at every position. They are experienced along the defensive line and led by ends Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis. The big question mark for the defense was in the secondary where Oklahoma was looking at replacing three of four starters from 2010.
Now that question is a bit less significant with Fleming returning to team up with Demontre Hurst to comprise on of the best corner duos in the conference. The Sooners will be starting two new safeties but Javon Harris already has starting experience at free safety and Aaron Colvin was the defensive star of the spring game from the strong safety position.
The return of Fleming just made an already stout defense much, much better.
Hat tip to Jubanator 14 and OUPest for initially posting this on CCM.