Former OU linebacker Chris Wilson is in his first year as defensive end coach at OU and going through his first spring. Thus Coach Wilson is learning about the Sooner defensive ends on the run. After a recent practice, Wilson took time out for OUInsider.com to be on the Two Minute Drill.
JH: What is your early impression of the defensive end group?
CW: "The big thing is that we have some talent and we have some athletes at the position. Our success won't be a matter of tools, it will be a matter of reps. We have to give them reps, reps and more reps. I have to get guys ready to play, thus I need to give all of them as many reps as I can. With the exception of (Larry) Birdine, we have a lot of down-the-line guys that have to step up and play. So, now is the time to get them up to par quick."
JH: You graduated both starters from a year ago, but you return Larry Birdine, who alternated with Dan Cody and Jonathan Jackson all year. Cody said that Birdine had more talent than any other defensive end on the team. What would you say about Birdine at this time, and I am sure that you have found out that his talking all the time haven't you?
CW: "He is excited and that breads confidence on the field. He actually walks the walk, so that was the first thing I learned about Larry. What he does is provide his teammates around him is the confidence that they need, especially the young guys who haven't played. He is going to be a big asset to me."
JH: Just how talented is Birdine?
CW: "He has the tools, but 90 percent of what we do isn't on the outside, but on the inside. It is how much film is he willing to study? How hours when we are not around is he willing to be in here and be committed? That is an important emphasis that we are going to have with him this spring by constantly asking him how good he wants to be. He can go as far as he wants to go, and that is how I look at it. Tool-wise, he is right up there with a lot of guys that I have coached."
JH: What are your early impressions of junior college transfer C.J. Ah You?
CW: "He has great ability, but he is still playing with a little bit of the 'JC mentality'. We have to change his expectation level and get him up to a Big12 Championship level. Once he does that he is going to be exceptional. For a man his size and quickness, he can really be an asset to us."
JH: You have the two young guys in Alonzo Dotson and John Williams, who have been watching Dan, Jonathan and Larry get all the reps. Are they beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as far as them getting on the field?
CW: "You can bet on that. I really like both of those guys. Right now I don't have a lot of bad habits to break, but they haven't had a lot of reps. They are fun and very coacable, and I am able to coach them hard. I am going to keep doing it until the end of spring, and the good thing about them is that we don't have to win the National Championship today."
JH: You also have Laenar Nixon and Alan Davis that you are trying to find reps for. Is it difficult to give all of them a chance?
CW: "It is and it isn't. The tough part is giving each guy a fair opportunity because everybody is not equal. I need to give everybody an opportunity so that they can see why they are or why they are not playing. I am going to get the main guys ready and then get Laenar and Alan asready as I can. It is up to Laenar and Alan to show me what they can do because they will have an opportunity to move up the depth chart. Both are talented guys, and I realize they haven't had much of an opportunity yet, but it is my job to try to give them that opportunity here in the spring."
Two Minute Drill: Chris Wilson
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