OU report card: Defensive end

Defensive bookends play their role but future looks bright

The 2014 season is in the books for Oklahoma as the Sooners began the season in the top five but ended a disappointing 8-5 with losses in the final two games.

Before we start looking ahead to 2015, we’re going to take another look at every position this season for the Sooners.

Defensive end

Bob Przybylo: B-. Really anticipated the production being more from this group. Charles Tapper was going to have his breakout season, while Charles Walker was going to make some jaw-dropping plays.

Didn’t exactly pan out that way. Tapper had his moments, but for the most part, senior Chuka Ndulue was the most consistent performer of the group. Walker and Matt Dimon both battled injuries during the season as well.

Tapper is still an athletic freak, and he showed why a number of times, but this was supposed to be the season he made the leap to an all-Big 12 performer. Ndulue improved vastly this season, to his credit.

Tapper, Walker, Dimon and a host of others will be back so this spot looks pretty rosy going forward for OU.

Justin Hite: B-. Based on scheme alone, the defensive ends will never stand out in the Sooners’ 3-4, which makes is especially tough on Charles Tapper.

Opposite Tapper, Chuka Ndulue was a much better fit as the lesser athletic of the two.

Tapper was hamstrung most of the season, having to play within the confines of the system instead of using his athletic gifts, which made the former basketball player more attractive to Oklahoma in the first place.

To finish with 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks out of a 3-4 is a pretty good finish but neither posted a full season of consistent play.

For Ndulue, he was a game-changer to start the season. Tapper barely appeared on the stat sheet through the first half of the season.

The two did help combine for the ninth-best run defense in the country. Even if they didn’t look great individually, they each gave up for the greater good of the team.

Sooners Illustrated overall grade: B-


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