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5 Players OSU Can’t Afford to Lose

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Travis Lewis’ toe is going to make a strong run at Sam Bradford’s shoulder as the most talked about body part in OU football history. Sooner Nation is melting down in part because linebacker is as thin as it gets for #1. I feel bad for them (kind of) because I don’t want any excuses if they aren’t 11-0 on Decemeber 3rd.

It did get met thinking though about the five players OSU can least afford to lose going into this season.

Because I’m not completely sure whether or not the jinx I hold over any and all Oklahoma State golfers carries over to other sports I’m going to spare Weeden and Blackmon from this list. I think you guys get the point with them.

Let’s get to it:

5. Jeremy Smith – It’s not that OSU isn’t deep at RB (they are) but it’s the type of running he does that I’m not sure can really be replaced. Joseph Randle, Herschel Sims, Kye Staley, and Desmond Roland (if he plays) are all great backs but they aren’t built like a Greek Titan the way Smith is. And they don’t run between the tackles like Todd Monken is going to ask Smith to do. Having a unique talent that no one else can replicate equals job security and Smith has it. We need him to keep it.

4.Nick Martinez & Jonathan Rush – One reason: they protect Weeden’s backside. I don’t even want to talk about this. Just go YouTube “Tom Brady Chiefs” or “Sam Bradford BYU” and let’s pretend like we never discussed anything.

3. Nigel Nicholas – DT hasn’t exactly been OSU’s foremost archetype for “how to run a high level college football program” but Nicholas has been strong. He’s currently the only gap-stopper Bill Young will commit to as a starter and if you’ve been watching the same D-line I have for the past five years then that stability is worth something.

2. Shaun Lewis – You get the feeling that if something happened to Josh Cooper or Hubert Anyiam or even Randle that the offense would be fine. If something happened to Shaun Lewis, the defense most assuredly would not be. This team will be as good as the next two guys can make it. If Lewis can expound on his spectacular freshman year then let’s get those BCS tickets queued up. If not, or if he is lost for an extended period of time, it would be equivalent to OU losing their own Lewis.

1. Markelle Martin – He is unquestionably the heart of the defense (and maybe the team). Not only would a Martin loss basically rip the heart out of the defense but, well, do you want Lavocheya Cooper starting for a top ten team in the always-full-of-fireworks Big 12?

Post script: if you are related to Lavocheya Cooper and are reading this, I apologize.

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