Jamarkus McFarland trying to play loose

Defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland admitted there were times when he was thinking too much during the first three years at Oklahoma. Heading into his senior season, McFarland is focused on letting his natural abilities take over.

OU defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp has been the driving force behind that change.

“Coach Shipp came to me and said, ‘Once the ball is snapped there’s no thinking,’” McFarland said. “I’ve always been a thinking guy, [I] like to think, like to look in the backfield and see things before I go.”

McFarland has been solid during his career, recording 51 tackles including 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 34 career games (10 starts). With Shipp in his ear about playing off instinct, he’s looking to take things to the next level this season.

“He said, ‘Let loose, guys didn’t make money at this position by trying to think the game out,'” McFarland said of Shipp’s advice. “If you want to do that, go somewhere and make money sitting in the booth.”