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On Oklahoma State’s D-Line’s Strength, Practicing Against Experience

The defensive line’s biggest strength is … well, strength.

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STILLWATER — The Cowboys’ defensive line might be inexperienced, but the team’s returning sack leader said one of the group’s strengths is … well strength.

Mike Scott’s three sacks from 2018 were the most from any returner to Oklahoma State’s 2019 defense. Despite being one of the most experienced players in the position group, the strongest, he is not.

“I’ve never been a part of a team where the whole D-line has got some type of strength to them,” Scott said. “We always talk smack. They call me the ‘weakest’ in the group. I’m not the ‘weakest,’ they just super strong, abnormally human. Israel (Antwine), he strong. Brendon (Evers), crazy strong. Cam (Murray), crazy strong. Tyler (Lacy), crazy strong. Amadou (Fofana), I can go on all day, really with how strong everybody is. Brock (Martin) is super strong. It’s crazy. I really appreciate working with these guys. I’m really having fun this year.”

Although Scott is listed as a defensive end, there is no telling where he’ll line up on any given play. Scott and Brock Martin are expected to do what Jordan Brailford did for Jim Knowles’ defense in 2018: move around a lot and cause havoc.

“I’m working on trying to extend my arms, working on trying to get lower because I’m so tall, which is kind of hard at linebacker,” Scott said.

A 6-foot-5, 245-pound college linebacker sounds awesome.

There might not be anyone on the team as excited to do the job he gets to do than Scott. He said Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is an inspiration to what he wants to be this year.

There are some new skills that Scott is having to pick up with all his moving around, though, particularly in the passing game.

“If I know it’s a run, I’m happy,” Scott said. “But if it’s a pass, I’m like, man. Because I get the tendency to stand up. I’ve just got to keep on keeping in mind to stay low, stay short just in case I need to move quicker. I love it, though. It’s a great position.”

Despite doing a lot of the same things, Martin has a different body type than Scott. Martin is 6-4, 242 pounds, but his skillset is more centered on strength as opposed to Scott’s length. Martin was a three-time state champion as a wrestler at Oologah, and Scott said Martin’s wrestling skills are seen in his football.

“I’ve never seen somebody get down on the ground so fast and get up so quick and still make a play,” Scott said. “It’s amazing. He’s built swole. He can plug up whatever hole you want him to. I love it. I love it.”

Despite OSU’s D-line lacking experience, it battles against an experienced group of offensive linemen every day in practice. The likes of Marcus Keyes, Johnny Wilson and Teven Jenkins have been in plenty of Big 12 battles throughout their careers. That matched with the experience new offensive line coach Charlie Dickey brings is nothing but a benefit for the Cowboys’ defensive line.

“I love going against Teven Jenkins and Johnny Wilson,” Cameron Murray said. “They make me better every day. Just having them on the O-line across, it makes me better. I love going against those guys every day.”

It looks as if OSU will take a committee approach to its defensive line this season, but apart from that, it’s hard to be sure what to expect. Here is what Scott said he expects:

“Fast, hard-hitting, smacking people, not scared of nobody … we’re not backing down from them,” Scott said. “We don’t care if it’s those dudes down the street (Oklahoma). We don’t care if it’s Texas. It don’t matter. We’re gonna work hard. We’re gonna smash ’em.”

 

 

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