Ranking the Most Important on Defense: No. 2

Sooners Illustrated has made it to the second most important player on the defensive countdown.

No. 2:

Player: Jeremy Beal

Position: Starting defensive end

The rundown: Beal was a significant contributor last year, ranking fifth on the team with 69 total tackles, 45 of which were unassisted. That was good enough to lead the defensive line in production there. He also had a ridiculous 19 tackles for loss, including 11 sacks, both of which led the Sooner defense a year ago. The next closest in those categories was No. 3 NFL Draft pick Gerald McCoy, who finished with 15.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Expectations for 2010: He's the clear cut leader for this defensive line and even said the other day he feels added pressure not just to make plays but to get the rest of the group to make plays. With that said, Beal should lead the defensive line in all major categories once again, and the strength of the Sooners' pass rushing game will largely lie on his shoulders. If anything happens to sideline him, the Sooners will be in major trouble.

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