Post Spring Breakdown: Interior D-Line

Sooners Illustrated has broken down all the offensive positions following the spring, so now it's time to talk about the defense, starting with the guys in the middle of the defensive line.

Starting nose guard—Jamarkus McFarlandMcFarland, a 6-foot-2, 296 lb. sophomore bruiser from Lufkin, Texas, will play a huge role in whether or not the defensive line is as intimidating as it was a year ago with NFL third overall pick Gerald McCoy and company. He's a guy that grew up within the system last year behind McCoy and learned a lot of things, and expect him to be quite a force in the middle for opposing offensive lines to deal with.

Backup nose guard—Casey WalkerA 6-foot, 302 pounder from Garland Texas, Walker redshirted in 2008 before playing three games in reserve duty last year. He recorded two tackles and a fumble recovery against Idaho State, so he has seen some very limited action. But the Sooners would much rather rely on McFarland.

Starting defensive tackle—Adrian TaylorThe question here is clearly his health and how well he'll come back in the fall after breaking his left leg in the Sun Bowl against Stanford. Taylor without a doubt brings the most experience in the core of the defensive line. It's not even close, as he's a senior with a lot of game experience while the others on this depth chart are all sophomores. Taylor was second in tackles on the defensive line a year ago only to defensive end Jeremy Beal, who had 69 to Taylor's 37. He also brought the heat up the middle to complement McCoy, tallying 3.5 sacks for 17 yards, all part of seven tackles for a loss of 25 yards. Therefore, this is the guy that will be most relied in among the tackles.

Backup defensive tackle—Stacey McGeeAt 6-foot-4, 272 lb., McGee's the smallest of the four on the current depth chart in the interior. There's definitely not a lack of talent in his game, though. He played a couple of games last year in backup duty and redshirted the previous season as did Walker. McGee had only one tackle, but he also moved to the offensive line as a reserve there with all the injuries a year ago.

Status:

1. In great shape

2. Probably in good shape

3. Questionable

4. Not in good shape at all

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