Stoops: D-Line 'better than people think'

The Sooners face a tall task in replacing ends Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis -- their two best defensive linemen from last season. But during OU media day Saturday, Bob Stoops said he feels good about the unit.

"I really believe our front line is going to be better than people think," Stoops said. "I'm hopeful that's the case with five seniors up there. I think that matters. David King and R.J. Washington have experience, and then all the other guys inside, Stacy McGee, Casey Walker, and Jamarkus McFarland are all seniors."

King and Washington played significant roles as backups to Alexander and Lewis. They were also part of OU’s “Endy” package, which placed four defensive ends on the field at once in obvious passing situations. McGee, Walker and McFarland have comprised OU’s tackle rotation the last two seasons.

While the five seniors will be the foundation of the line, they could get a boost from a couple of up-and-comers. Athletic redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Phillips is loaded with potential. Sophomore end Chuka Ndulue had one of the best springs of any defender.

"Jordan Phillips in two-a-days looks really good," Stoops said. "Chuka I know didn't play a bunch last year, but when he did, he did well. Then watching him all spring and winter, Chuka is ready to play."