Q&A: Defensive end David King

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated presents a Q&A with defensive end David King, inquiring about replacing the two great former defensive ends, Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis, the youngsters that have impressed him and more.

Q. Can you gauge the progress of [Charles] Tapper and Mike [Onuoha]?

A. I mean, they're raw because this is a different level of football, but I mean, they got advantages. Like, Michael has extremely long arms. Charles is big. So, I mean once they--it's only day four or five of camp--so once we get into week two, week three, they'll make progressions. But I mean, they're doing good right now for how long they've been here and what not. But they'll be good in the next year or two, so y'all watch out for them.

Q. Do you feel like maybe potentially you're more deep at that position than you've been since you've been here? I mean, you've had some really top line guys, but it seems like you got a lot more young talent in here maybe than you have in awhile.

A. Yeah, we got 10 guys right now. So, I mean, Coach Wright's doing a good job getting us all snaps to see how we go out and perform on the field. But I think over the years, with me and R.J. gone, they'll be pretty good at D-end because they're just bringing in more and more by the day. So, I mean, it's working.

Q. What impresses you about Rashod [Favors] and P.L. [Lindley], those two young guys that made that switch?

A. Just the way they've been able to transition from stand up every down to putting the hand on the ground and getting big. Because up front, that's all it's gonna run around is you and the man. So, the way they've been able to handle that when they came in in the spring, they've just got better and better each week they've been in the weight room.

Q. What do you tell a guy like Chaz, who's kinda still struggling a little bit to make that transition from JUCO to Division I?

A. Well, he's making progress but I mean, the thing with Chaz: he's not as strong as a lot of us. So, he has speed he has to use. Like Coach Wright says, you have to use your advantage on the offensive line. I mean, if you're strong, use your strength. If you're fast, use your speed to get around them. So, with Chaz it's just a matter of him going out and performing on a consistent basis and using his advantages against the O-line.

Q. It sounds like talking to Coach Wright, Chuka's [Ndulue] still making a really positive impression, a guy that can really make a big impact as well this year?

A. Oh yeah. Chuka's doing a good job. You know, he's a young guy. He got in the game some last year. He did well as you all saw and y'all talked with the coaches about it, too. He's progressing every day and every day and he'll definitely be in the rotation this year. So, watch out for him. He's another guy that's a surprise player for us.

Q. You guys room together? I mean, it seems like you guys are always tweeting each other up.

A. Oh, nah. My roommate is R.J. It used to be Stacy until he moved out, but me and Chuka--I mean, everybody on the D-line, we're all pretty close. We hang out on the weekends when we're not doing football stuff. It's just like a brotherhood within a brotherhood. That's how we do. We all go out together, come over, we played spades together, we play dominoes. It's just hang out and chill.

Q. Who's the best spades and dominoes player?

A. Spades, me and R.J. Dominoes, I mean you can ask somebody. That's my title.

Q. Who's a couple guys on defense if you had to single out a couple that really impressed you today?

A. R.J. stood out. He got in there and got big. There was a lot of slipping and stuff because it rained right before we did it. So, it wasn't as physical as a normal Oklahoma drill would be. But Tap did a good job. Mike blocked out. And the older guys, we did good as usual. I mean, I won't single out any one guy, but we all did a consistent job.

Q. Can you just talk about the importance of filling in for two very key losses this year, just what do you guys need to do to fill in for that?

A. It's just come out and make plays. That's what it comes down to. Coach Wright has enough trust in us to put us on the field and we just gotta respond by going out and not disappointing him. Going out and making plays to fill that void that's left when Frank and Ronnell went on to their respective teams in the NFL.

Q. The coaches keep bringing up these young players. How much are you getting pushed by these young players?

A. Oh, I mean, I'm glad they're doing good. It makes me happy. They give me a breather when I'm out there on the field, but their progression's been good. I'm sure y'all talked to Coach Wright about it, but, you know, like I said, Mike has really long arms and once his strength comes in, he'll be unstoppable. And Tap is just big, so once he gets it down, the mental part of the game down, just watch out for those two in the next year or two.

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