The reason to separate is easy, ends are returning with loads of stability, while tackles with the loss of next week's hopeful Pro Day heroes James Castleman and Ofa Hautau is starting over a little. At end there is one major weapon returning that has now shown he is a difference maker and one of the finest pass rushers in the nation.
38 Emmanuel Ogbah, Leo, So., 6-4, 270
92 Jimmy Bean, DE, Sr., 6-5, 250
90 Trace Clark, Leo, Sr., 6-4, 255
Waiting to be Discovered
Trey Carter, DT/DE, RS-Fr., 6-4, 275
Jarrell Owens, Leo, RS-Fr., 6-3, 250
Jordan Brailford, DE, RS-Fr., 6-3, 240
Cole Walterscheid, DE, RS-Fr., 6-6, 240
Robert Lolofie, DE, RS-Fr., 6-2, 250
Emmanuel Ogbah is one of those truly special players that is not only maximizing on his physical talents but watching him this offseason, and in particular on competition day where he led his team to the championship, he is becoming a major leader on this football team.
Head coach Mike Gundy has seen it and is especially excited by it. I know that I am treading on sacred ground when I write this but it think Ogbah's performance and influence on this football team both physically and emotionally really compares with what I saw out of a lineman on the other side of the ball at Oklahoma State that is now an All-Pro and a recent Super Bowl champion in Russell Okung. The interesting aspect of it is that they are from the same hometown.
Ogbah led the Big 12 with 11 sacks last season, and he has 15 sacks in his career. He will back that up again this season despite getting more attention from opposing offensive lines and pass protection schemes. He will be a better player than he was last season. He is also so athletic that he can drop back in zone blitz situations and he is also a good run defender.
Jimmy Bean makes it tough for opposing offenses as the senior is also an outstanding defensive end and can do everything that Ogbah can athletically. He is especially good against the run with 6.0 tackles for loss last season and 15.5 for his career.
Trace Clark returns for a senior season and he is capable of making big plays as another player with a big frame and a lot of athleticism. He is another player that takes great pride in his play.
Now there is another experienced defensive end in Vili Leveni but we left him off the list at defensive end because we think you will find him making a full-time home at defensive tackle. We did leave redshirt freshman Trey Carter here but he will be double listed as he could also make a home for himself at defensive tackle.
There is still lots of young talent to be developed at defensive end in the spring. The offensive coaches reported that Carter, who is now close to 280 pounds, and Jarrell Owens proved to be major loads in working against the offense last fall. Owens combines tremendous strength with outstanding speed and skills for his size.
Rob Glass and his strength staff are very proud of what has been accomplished with redshirt freshman Cole Walterscheid of Muenster, Texas. He was a four-sport athlete in high school that had little time in the weight room but in his brief time at Oklahoma State has packed on the muscle and is rapidly getting to look like a guy that could help out. He has a great attitude and is very athletic.
Another young defensive end, Jordan Brailford, is still working on putting on the muscle and is another extremely athletic candidate that will look to make progress toward being ready for the fall.
The hope is the young inexperienced ends will make progress toward joining the high end talent at this position and with leaders like Ogbah, Bean and Clark helping the coaching staff bring them along it looks like a sure thing.
The bottom line is that in Ogbah the Cowboys have an All-American and top end awards candidate for next season that is as good as any we've seen in awhile.