Hite's OU 11: No. 10 Matt Romar

Starting defensive tackle has NFL-sized shoes to fill

During the next two weeks, Sooners Illustrated will rank Oklahoma’s players.

While Sooners Illustrated publisher Bob Przybylo will breakdown the best Sooners, we are talking about the most important players here – based on the opinion of Sooners Illustrated writer Justin Hite.

There will definitely be some crossover between the two lists, but this list in particular is based on who Oklahoma needs to be at the top of their game this season.

Let’s get it rolling.

10. Matt Romar

Of all the new starters, Romar has by far the biggest shoes to fill – on defense at the very least. Granted, there are only three new full-time starters on Oklahoma defensive unit, and for argument’s sake, cornerback Jordan Thomas is pretty much a returner.

The difference is that Romar is nothing like his predecessor Jordan Phillips, who was drafted in the second round by the Miami Dolphins and is starting make waves in camp.

Where Phillips was a physical specimen with unfathomable athletic ability for a 6-foot-6, 300-plus pound man, Romar is more of a bowling ball – much more stout at just 6-foot and 294 pounds but possessing a relentless motor.

“Matt Romar is a big, strong guy inside,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.

Strength won’t be Romar’s issue, but he’ll need to be more than that for Oklahoma. Replacing Phillips is the single toughest job for any of the new starters. Romar doesn’t have to be Phillips, but he has to keep fans (and coaches) from wishing that Phillips hadn’t left Oklahoma early.

As a result, he’s the most important defensive lineman this season for Oklahoma.

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