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Most Imporant People #16 – Richetti Jones

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Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

Who he is: He is part XLK (because he hasn’t panned out like we thought) and part Andrew McGee (for battling back from a potentially debilitating injury). He is different from who we thought he was going to be, but he also has a chance this season to reclaim some of the greatness that made him a top 75 player coming out of high school.

What he does: He’s the best quote on a team full of good quotes. He was also second on the team last year to Jamie Blatnick with 4.5 sacks (how about OSU returning its two leading sackers? Sackers? Sack-getters? Sacksters?). He also tossed in 34 tackles and, more importantly, played in every game for the first time in his career in Stillwater.

He’s not the athlete he once was (who would be after breaking their hip?) but he’s redefined himself as a defensive end by simply becoming stronger than everyone else (500 lb. bench press seems adequate, no?). I’m excited to see how that plays out on the field this year.

Where he fits in: His sacks last year came in blowouts: Washington State, Kansas, and Arizona. If OSU’s defense is going to be what it can be this year Richetti and Jamie Blatnick are going to have to transfer some of that weight room magic to the OU game and the Texas game and the Missouri game and the A&M game.

He needn’t worry about playing every down or favoring any lingering injuries either because Cooper Bassett is a more-than-capable backup. That’s the thing about this year’s team and something I’m going to talk about on Friday’s podcast with [yet-to-be-named former OSU defensive player] – they’re loaded. Weeden said it to CBS on Tuesday, “it’s scary how deep we are.”

Why he matters: He matters because OSU’s secondary is spectacular and the line needs to give them the chance to show that. You could put Nnamdi Asomugha, Antrel Rolle, Earl Thomas, and Revis Island out there and they’re still going to get beat if Landry and Tannehill and Gilbert have 15 seconds to throw the ball (well maybe not Gilbert, but you get the point).

The glaring reality is that OSU’s defensive line has held them back from championships. I don’t care how big of a homer you are, there’s little to no denying that. Change it this year and we can talk BCS. Don’t and we’ll be loading the car up for San Antonio or Dallas again. And as much as I’m sure Richetti would love going home (to Dallas) to end his career, I have a feeling his family wouldn’t mind making the drive a little further southeast to the Bayou.

This post is part of our series on the 20 most important people to a 2011 Oklahoma State title run. Check the full list out here.

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