Ranking the Most Important on Defense: No. 19

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated continues on with the most crucial defensive players countdown.

No. 19:

Player: Jaydan Bird

Position: Backup middle linebacker

The rundown: In two seasons, this 6-foot-2, 236-pound backer out of Conway Springs, Kan., has accumulated 13 tackles, as well as a forced fumble. He recorded 11 of those last year in nine different games, including two against Texas A&M. Bird has played in 26 career games, mostly as a member of the kick coverage team. But he has also played sparingly at linebacker.

Expectations for 2011: Considering the Sooners' options, there's no reason to believe Bird will see a ton of playing time at linebacker. Tom Wort has established himself far and away as the best option at MIKE and Corey Nelson needs to be on the field in some manner. But because of the loss of Austin Box, his role inevitably becomes more important when considering possible injuries and such, which is why he lands a spot at 19. That, and the fact that he'll have a special teams role for the third straight season.


No. 25: Julian Wilson

No. 24: James Haynes

No. 23: Geneo Grissom

No. 22: Joe Powell

No. 21: Quentin Hayes

No. 20: Torrea Peterson

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