Reasons for optimism about the Sooner defense.

Understandably, most Sooner fans are hesitant to make lofty predictions for the defense this upcoming season. After being one of the worst defenses in the whole NCAA last year, how much better can they be after just one off-season under a new D.C?

My answer is a lot better. Poor coaching is a powerful, destructive force, particularly in college football, and particularly when it's as discombobulated as it was.. I believe the problems were more mental/emotional than physical. Conversely, good coaching can elevate the mental/emotional side of things in young players, and that can bring out the best of the physical.

The reason for optimism is the physical talent is there in spades.. This is an almost entirely Blue Chip group by any recruiting site's standards. Sure, recruiting stars don't mean everything, but when there are THAT many highly rated players, odds are there will be some good ones, superstars even..

Below is a basic list of players that have a high probability of seeing the field this year in some capacity. If I missed a couple of guys, or if I've included a player that someone knows will NEVER play, please feel free to correct me. The general theme is clear though. This is a mostly 4 star defense, with some 5 star guys and a couple of stray 3 star guys.

Gallimore- 4 star

Overton- 4 star

Kelly (injured I know, but who knows when he'll be back?) 5 star

Motley- 3 star

Parker- 4 star

JMT- 3 star

Murray- 4 star

Isaiah Thomas- 4 star

Tre Brown- 4 star

Draper- 4 star

Barnes- 4 star

Bookie- 5 star

Perkins- 4 star

Redmond- 4 star

Thompson- 4 star

Fields- 3 star

White- 4 star

Criddell- 4 star

Turner-Yell- 3 star

As we can clearly see, this is a talented defense.. If anyone follows the "blue chip ratio," it has been a highly accurate predictor of which teams end up having success on the field. Nothing is guaranteed, but there are so many players in the mix that have potential to develop into solid players, if not superstars, with proper coaching (a majority of 4 and 5 star players at least have that potential.) This is, on paper, at least the 2nd best defense in the big 12. There's no reason this group can't surprise everyone this season..

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