Now we are pulling these candidates from the brand new just reported freshmen and junior college players, the ones that reported in January, the redshirt freshmen and sophomores that played some last season, and even some third-year players that are either sophomores or juniors. The only criteria is that they have yet to regularly hold down a position in the two-deep depth chart.
Reviewing the first three players featured. Number 10 is freshman wide receiver James Washington, who has come in this summer and impressed the strength staff and his teammates with his work ethic and athleticism.
Number nine is Darius Curry, who impressed as a redshirt last season and gives the defensive staff a luxury of having a big, physical corner that can help against big and physical receivers. He is a good cover corner at his size.
Number eight is Sione Palelei, who has done a marvelous job of rehab on his knee injury of last fall during his senior season. He brings speed and power in a great combination to the running back position and has the ability to also be a home-run hitter at the position.
Number seven is Vili Leveni, who redshirted last season. He really used the season well in working on his frame and putting on good weight to get to 6-3 and 275 pounds. He is versatile enough to play end or line up inside in the right situations.
Number six is Emmanuel Ogbah, another defensive end and another big one as Ogbah is 6-4 and now north of 270 pounds. He was something to watch in spring practice with the way he flew around even at a large size.
To be honest, he really put on size and strength after the Cotton Bowl as the first time I saw him on the field in the spring I could not recognize him. He is now a redshirt sophomore after sitting out the 2012 season as a redshirt and then he got his feet wet last season playing in every game.
He finished the season with 20 tackles and 15 of those were unassisted tackles, and then four of those were sacks putting him in a tie for the team lead. He will blow by that number this season. He accounted for 5.5 tackles for loss and minus 29 yards. His sacks all came in big games (Mississippi State, Texas Tech, Texas, and Baylor). That makes you start thinking that maybe he has already jumped off the roster.
What is so interesting here is you have Ogbah with a year more experience and Levini, who has watched Ogbah's development. Now the two players of similar size and power have a chance to play off each other.
If you are Mike Gundy, defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements, and defensive GA Eric Henderson you are all going to encourage a little game of anything you can do I can do better. Create that friendly competition and promote the production rivalry in you position meetings and video study.
Think offense and having wide receivers like Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon going at the same time competing for explosive offensive plays. Now you have Ogbah and Levini competing for sacks, tackles for losses, passes deflected, and turnovers. These two players possess a lot of power and explosion to aim at an offense.