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Future Units: What Linebacker Looks Like in 2018 and Beyond for Oklahoma State



Depending on whom you ask, linebackers play the most important position for a defense. One of your linebackers is more than likely the captain of the defense, relaying plays and signals to the rest of the team and calling out anything he sees on the other side of the ball. They’re crucial in stopping the run and also in pass coverage, particularly while in a zone defense.

The Cowboys no longer have Kirk Tucker, Gyasi Akem or senior leader Chad Whitener, but they do have some talented guys who are sure to make an impact in 2018 and beyond. Here’s what the future looks like at linebacker for Oklahoma State.

Offers Out (2019)

Shammond Cooper — Cooper is a four-star inside linebacker from Trinity Catholic High School in Saint Louis. He’s the eighth-ranked player at his position and is the fifth-ranked prospect in the state of Missouri. Cooper totaled 98 solo tackles, four sacks and an interception during his freshman season.

Also received offers from: OU, Clemson, Auburn, Ohio State

Marcel Brooks — Brooks is a four-star outside linebacker from Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas. He stands at 6-foot-3 and weights 200 pounds. He’s the sixth-ranked outside linebacker and ranks just outside the top 100 overall nationally. Projections have him landing at LSU or Oklahoma.

Also received offers from: Alabama, LSU, Arizona, Florida

Jonathan Perkins — Another outside linebacker, Perkins is a four-star prospect from San Bernardino, California. He’s 6-foot-1, 207 pounds and is ranked the 18th best outside linebacker. Perkins is also among the top 40 prospects in the state of California. Projections have him going to Oklahoma.

Also received offers from: Illinois, Oregon, UCLA

Rian Davis — Davis is a physical freak at 6-foot-2.5 and 233 pounds. When rushing the quarterback against offensive linemen, Davis, a four-star, doesn’t look much smaller and has the strength to compete with most of them at the high school level. He has a dazzling list of offers, however. It’ll be tough for the Cowboys to nab him.

Also received offers from: Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Houston, Louisville

Offers out (2020)


Commits in (2019)


Incoming (2018)

Blake Barron — Barron is an inside linebacker from Rockwall, Texas. Barron, a three-star recruit, doesn’t jump out at you on the rankings. He’s outside of the nation’s top 1,000 prospects and he ranks outside of the top 150 players in Texas. He had only two other offers, per

Also received offers from: Houston, North Texas

Current depth chart

Justin Phillips (RS-Sr.) 6-0, 230 pounds

  • Recipient of the 2017 Barry Sanders award (Given to the player with the greatest contribution to the team with the least recognition)
  • Played in every game last season, including nine starts
  • Ranked sixth on the team with 54 tackles
  • Had eight tackles against Virginia Tech in the Camping World Bowl

Kenneth Edison-McGruder (Sr.) 6-0, 220 pounds

  • Played in nine games, started five
  • Had an 82-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the season opener against Tulsa
  • Had 21 tackles, 17 of which were solo

Calvin Bundage (Junior) 6-foot-2, 205 pounds

  • Was also a recipient of the Barry Sanders award in 2017
  • Played in every game, earning nine starts
  • Sacked Baker Mayfield twice in the second half of Bedlam
  • Averaged two tackles per game in the first half of the season and averaged six tackles per game during the second half of the season, per

Amen Ogbongbemiga (RS-So.) 6-0, 225 pounds

  • Played in 12 games, serving on defense and special teams
  • Had 16 total tackles, two of which were for loss

Patrick Macon (RS-Jr.) 6-foot-3, 240 pounds

  • Redshirted last season after transferring from Arizona Western College
  • Named the National Junior College Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year in 2016
  • Ranked fourth in the nation with 122 tackles and first with 27.5 tackles for loss and nine forced fumbles

Devin Harper (RS-So.) 6-foot-1, 240 pounds

  • Primarily played on special teams; two of his five tackles were during kickoffs
  • Blocked a punt against Texas Tech

Kevin Henry (RS-Jr.) 6-0, 230 pounds

  • Finished with six tackles in the season opener, which was the only game he played in before suffering an injury

Philip Redwine-Bryant (RS-Jr.) 6-foot-2, 215 pounds

Blake Barron (Fr.) 6-0, 225 pounds

Mike Coats (RS-So.) 6-foot-1, 228 pounds

Adam Martin (RS-Fr.) 5-foot-11, 214 pounds

What the future looks like

Although the distant future is unclear, one thing is for certain in the immediate future: The Cowboys have a lot of talent and depth in their linebacker corps. It’s unknown who will start for Jim Knowles in his first season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see somewhat of a rotation with so many talented guys.

I’m excited to see what Macon does at the DI level, I’m excited to see what Henry does as he returns for injury, and I’m excited to see the development of Bundage, Edison-McGruder and Phillips. There are a bunch of names to watch out for this season at this position.

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