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Future Units: Oklahoma State Will try and Reload at Defensive End

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Other than protecting your own quarterback, getting to the opposing quarterback might be the most important objective in football. That’s the primary job of the defensive end, other than setting the edge. Defensive ends use a combination of strength and agility to get past offensive linemen and into the backfield, where they sometimes encounter a pass-blocking running back or fullback.

Explosiveness is key at this position, and of all the positions on defense, defensive ends might have the highest propensity to make momentum-shifting plays, such as a strip-sack.

Defensive tackles also have an important job: stopping the run and plugging the holes created by offensive linemen. Defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements has had success in his five years in Stillwater. Per okstate.com, the Cowboys averaged 19.5 sacks per season in the three seasons prior to Clements’ arrival. In the five years since hiring him, OSU has averaged 25.7 per season. What players will Clements have at his disposal now and in the future? Let’s take a look (we will break this into two parts — DE and DT and look at the DEs today and DTs tomorrow).

Let’s take a look at OSU’s current and future at this position.

All ratings and measurements are from 247sports.com

Offers out (2019) — Weak-side DEs

Marcus Hicks – 6-foot-5, 236 pounds – Northwest High School (Wichita, Kansas)

Hicks, a four-star prospect, is among OSU’s top defensive end targets. He’s the No. 1 recruit in the state of Kansas and is the 15th-ranked weak-side defensive end in the country. If his highlight tape is any indication, he has a serious knack for using that long wingspan to knock down or deflect passes at the line of scrimmage. Predictions have him going to Oklahoma, but Oklahoma State is among the five teams he is considering.

Also received offers from: Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State

Nana Osafo-Mensah – 6-foot-4, 227 pounds – Nolan Catholic High School (Fort Worth, Texas)

Osafo-Mensah is leaning toward Notre Dame but has many illustrious programs on his offer list. He’s the sixth-ranked weak-side defensive end in the country and is a top-20 player in the state of Texas. His strength jumps out at you on his highlight tape, and it does not take him long to get into the opposing team’s backfield. Highlight tapes can be misleading, but it’s easy to see why Osafo-Mensah has so many offers.

Also received offers from: Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Alabama

Colt Ellison – 6-foot-4, 235 pounds – Aledo High School (Aledo, Texas)

Ellison is a three-star prospect who looks to be deciding between Notre Dame and TCU. He’s just outside the top 50 prospects from Texas and is the 31st-ranked weak-side defensive end in the country. He doesn’t seem to use raw strength to power through most blocks, but he’s adept at disengaging before tracking down the ball carrier.

Also received offers from: Notre Dame, TCU, Arkansas, Arizona State, Baylor

Z’Core Brooks – 6-foot-6, 220 pounds – Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas, Texas)

Brooks is a three-star prospect that Oklahoma State fans should be confident about signing. That is, if 247sports’ crystal ball is any indication. National expert Greg Powers has Brooks going to OSU, and more than 90 percent of Powers’ predictions have been correct. Brooks is the 50th-ranked weak-side defensive end in the country. He’s a tall, intimidating presence with a long wingspan, which helps him disrupt passes at the line.

Also received offers from: McNeese State, Purdue, SMU, Baylor

David Ugwoegbu – 6-foot-5, 215 pounds – Seven Lakes High School (Katy, Texas)

Ugwoegbu has a last name nobody wants to appear during a spelling bee and is gonna be something play-by-play announcers struggle to pronounce. Seeing as though he’s a top-50 prospect in Texas, his name will be called a lot. Ugwoegbu, a three-star recruit, has an impressive offer list from all over the map.

Also received offers from: Alabama, California, Tennessee, Oklahoma, TCU, Houston

Israel Isuman-Hundley – 6-foot-5, 230 pounds – Liberty Christian High School (Argyle, Texas)

Hundley is a three-star recruit and is among the top 100 recruits in Texas. He has only four offers, but OSU’s biggest competitor might be Washington.

Also received offers from: Washington, Baylor, SMU

Offers out (2019) — Strong-side DEs

Keive Rose – 6-foot-3, 240 pounds – Henderson High School (Henderson, Texas)

Henderson is a three-star recruit who ranks just within the top 200 players in Texas. He doesn’t have many other big-time offers at the moment.

Also received offers from: Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Kansas, Memphis

Taurean Carter – 6-foot-3, 250 pounds –Mansfield Legacy High School (Mansfield, Texas)

I’d say OSU has a good chance of landing Carter, a three-star prospect. The list of offers from other teams isn’t all that impressive compared to the aforementioned players, and OSU is one of three teams on the list in either Texas or Oklahoma. If he wants to go to school far from home, that obviously changes things. Carter is by far the heaviest prospect on this list thus far. He’s vicious, and his raw strength shows. He just rips people to the ground.

Also received offers from: Colorado, Florida, Houston, Texas Tech, Michigan State

Collin Clay – 6-foot-5, 229 pounds – Putnam City High School (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Clay is a top-five prospect in Oklahoma and has caught the eye of several other big-time programs. Predictions have him going to either OU or Arkansas.

Also receieved offers from: Oklahoma, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Michigan

Trace Ford – 6-foot-4, 225 pounds – Santa Fe High School (Edmond, Oklahoma)

Ford is the 31st-ranked strong-side defensive end in the country and is the sixth-best player in Oklahoma. He has offers from schools across the map. Highlights can be deceiving, but from what I’ve seen, Ford is fast, powerful and decisive. He’d be a nice get for OSU.

Also received offers from: Arkansas, Arkansas State, California, Florida State, Oregon

Jason Gold – 6-foot-3, 250 pounds – Clear Springs High School (League City, Texas)

Gold is a three-star prospect but ranks outside the top 900 overall prospects nationally. His offer list is long but isn’t tattered with top-tier choices, so OSU should be one of the favorites to land him.

Also received offers from: Air Force, Arkansas State, Army, TCU, Virginia Tech

Javasia Brunson – 6-foot-4, 235 pounds – Lufkin High School (Lufkin, Texas)

Brunson is a three-star recruit with only three offers thus far. He ranks outside the top 1,000 recruits nationally.

Also received offers from: SMU, USF

Offers out (2020) — Weak-side DEs

Prince Dorbah – 6-foot-4, 210 pounds – Highland Park High School (Dallas, Texas)

Dorbah doesn’t have any sort of ranking out yet per 247sports.com, and he only has two offers. He attended OSU’s Junior Day on Jan. 16.

Also received offers from: SMU

Commits in (2019)

N/A

Incoming (2018) — Weak-side DEs

Michael Scott – 6-foot-5, 240 pounds – Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, Texas)

TCU was once the leader to land Scott, but that changed as he committed to OSU on Oct. 26. Scott is a three-star recruit that was once a top-five player in Texas, and he’s also a former SMU signee. He’ll have three years of eligibility.

Braden Cassity – 6-foot-2, 240 pounds – Westlake High School (Austin, Texas)

Projections had Cassity split 50-50 between OSU and Wisconsin, but nonetheless, he’ll take his talents to Stillwater for the 2018 season. He was a first-team all-district selection at defensive tackle as a junior, and he recorded 101 tackles and 11 sacks in his final high school season.

Also received offers from: Wisconsin, Tulsa, Tulane, Navy, Army, Toledo

Incoming (2018) — Strong-side DEs

Tyler Lacy – 6-foot-4, 238 pounds – Sachse High School (Sachse, Texas)

Lacy is a three-star recruit who picked OSU ahead of many other respectable programs. He has great size and was a second-team all-district selection as a junior.

Also received offers from: Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Colorado State, Tulsa

Amadou Fofana – 6-foot-5, 270 pounds – Highland Community College (Highland, Kansas)

An NJCAA All-American, Fofana was a top-10 strong-side defensive end prospect coming out of high school. He has an absolutely massive frame, and it’ll be interesting to see what he’s able to do with the help of Rob Glass this year and beyond.

Current depth chart

Jordan Brailford (RS-Jr.) 6-foot-3, 250 pounds

  • Named second-team All Big 12 player in 2017
  • Played in every game and started the final nine games last season
  • Led all OSU defensive linemen with 57 total tackles and 34 solo tackles

Cole Walterscheid (RS-Sr.) 6-foot-5, 260 pounds

  • Earned eight starts in 2017
  • Recorded 20 tackles, 17 of which were solo

Jarrell Owens (RS-Sr.) 6-foot-3, 265 pounds

  • Played in every game last season
  • Had six solo tackles, three of which were for loss

Brock Martin (RS-Fr.) 6-foot-4, 242 pounds

  • Was The Oklahoman’s All-State Defensive Player of the Year in 2016
  • Totaled more than 50 sacks and 400 tackles in high school

Triston Grant (RS-So.) 6-foot-4, 238 pounds

  • Played in four games, recording three tackles
  • Walk-on
What the future looks like

OSU will lose Waltersheid and Owens, but they’ll get two more years out of Brailford. Excitement is high for Martin, who has an opportunity to make a big splash next year, if not in his redshirt freshman season.

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