Joseph says OU's line will be just fine

Oklahoma senior lineman Davin Joseph talks about his move to tackle and breaks down the Sooners' line prospects for 2005.(AP Photo/Tim Sharp) continues our interview with Sooner senior offensive lineman Davin Joseph, who will move to left tackle this season after starting for three years at guard. Joseph is projected as a possible first-round draft choice and will also be a prime candidate for All-American honors at season end.

JH: Will your move to left tackle show the pros that you can be a versatile player and play just about anywhere on the offensive line?

DJ: "Yeah, I think that if I play well that will happen naturally for me. I am always willing to learn, and there is nothing wrong with learning because even at guard I still make mistakes. At tackle, I will make mistakes to, but it will be no big deal. I think I can play well out there and I think people will notice that on the next level."

JH: How does your move to left tackle help the offensive line become a better?

DJ: "I am still waiting to see how everything will shake out when the season rolls around. For right now, I think it adds more balance to our offensive line because it adds two solid tackles to our line in Akim Millington on one side and me on the other. Then with the middle being solid with Chris Bush at center, and we still have Kelvin Chaisson, they can help out Chris Chester a lot.

"It adds balance and we still have a lot of experience on the O-line. We have four seniors and one sophomore, so that is the balance I am talking about. The older guys are guys that can lead by example and show the younger guys how to play hard."

JH: What are your thoughts on Millington?

DJ: "I think he has the potential to be a great player. He is coming along really well, and I think after game three or four games four will be interesting to see just how well he is doing. I think once the games get tough Akim will show that he is an outstanding player."

JH: What are your impressions of the young offensive linemen in the program?

DJ: "It is so hard to compare them because they all bring a little something different to the game. Duke Robinson brings a more aggressive type of play to the game, while Jon Cooper, for him to be so young he has great technique. Then Jesse White is so strong, while Ben Barresi is a natural talent who seems to be born with the ability to the be an offensive lineman. It is fun to watch how good they are as young as they are."

JH: Isn't Duke one of the biggest offensive linemen that you have ever seen?

DJ: "Oh, yeah, but with the guys' athletic ability he is outstanding. Clint Ingram was telling me yesterday that they were playing basketball the other day and the guy dunked a basketball. Shoot, I told Clint that the last time I checked he was at 360. If he can dunk at 360, it means that Oklahoma is bringing in the athletes rather than worry about size."

JH: You have always been one of the most popular athletes at OU. Your offensive line coach, Kevin Wilson, said you were the best offensive lineman on the team last year despite the fact you had a first rounder (Jammal Brown) in your group, yet nationally it doesn't seem people know about you. Last year all the national attention went to Jammal, but his year it will go to you. What do you think about the added attention that is going to come your way?

DJ: "Things aren't going to change for me. You can get all big-headed with the national awards and everything, but come Saturday you still have to play the game. That stuff never had mattered much to me because all I focused on was playing good next to Vince (Carter) and Jammal. That is all I really ever wanted, was to play next to great players, and I have been able to do that at Oklahoma. I am not looking for any kind of credit. I am just looking to play hard and have fun."

JH: Many feel since you lost three starters that the offensive line is rebuilding and may not be as good. Do you agree with that?

DJ: "I think we are going to be just fine. With everybody having the same focus and everybody being optimistic about the season, we will be just fine. Whoever is at quarterback, whoever is running the ball, whether we are passing or running — it doesn't really matter. As long as we have a very optimistic feel about this season and everybody is not selfish about who is getting the ball or what we are doing, then we are going to be just fine."

JH: Coach Schmidt and other players always brag on you during workouts. So who impresses you?

DJ: "Shoot, a lot of guys impress me. Chris Chester impresses me the most because the guy has put on 60-something pounds since he has been here. He is at about 295 and almost at the 300-pound club, yet the guy can still run and can still play. He is strong as can be and is one of the best power-cleaners that I have ever seen. For that guy to gain all this weight and to still keep his strength and speed is very impressive."

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