Bob Przybylo/Scout

OU defensive changes pay off down signing day stretch run

OU's move to a four-man front paid off huge for Sooners down signing day stretch run.

January is the time of negative recruiting, and Oklahoma certainly had to deal with some of it when it came to defensive line.

It was brought up repeatedly about how the Sooners usage of a 3-4 defensive front was killing their ability to land some of the bigger dogs.

It didn’t fall on deaf ears as head coach Bob Stoops and defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux were in agreement. It’s time to head back to the four-man front. Maybe not all the time, but OU returning that 4-3 alignment absolutely helped in landing those final defensive line pieces of the 2017 class.

Tyreece Lott, Troy James and Zack McKinney all mentioned how OU going to a four-man defensive line front is going to help their games in the long run and also made OU a lot more appealing heading down the stretch run.

OU flipped Lott from TCU and James from Arkansas, both in the final week before signing day.

Confirm returning to four-man front:

“Yeah, because of all the spread we get, we just feel we’re gonna base out of a four-man front and jump into the odd occasionally, as opposed to being in an odd and jumping into a four-man front. That’s something we’ll concentrate on in the spring. With the amount of passing that we get, we feel that will allow us to get more pressure just from a four-man rush.” – head coach Bob Stoops

The four-man front the right call?

We still want to be more multiple in our defense and try to get our players on edges more, create more vertical penetration. It’s all about trying to fit your defense to the players you have. We’re going to try implement more of that, to more spread out sets, more passing situations. We’ll try to play both fronts as much as we can. With a young team, it’s hard to do. It was hard to do a year ago. We’re going to try to see how multiple we can be and still be effective.” – defensive coordinator Mike Stoops

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