The hits just keep coming for Oklahoma football. It's a routine that the Sooners have gone through seemingly every season. Starters are continuously getting hurt or suspended, which always makes the Sooners' road to success muddled with speed bumps.
This season/summer, the Sooners have already lost two senior starters due to injury—center Ben Habern (retirement) and right guard Tyler Evans (ACL). Senior defensive tackle Stacy McGee becomes the fifth Sooner to be suspended from the team indefinitely.
McGee's suspension was preceded by wide receivers Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson, along with safety Quentin Hayes. Jackson has been the only Sooner to be dismissed completely from the team, while Reynolds, Franks and Hayes have all been reinstated to practice only.
McGee, who was suspended for violating a university policy, has no timetable set for his return. McGee has been a part of the three-man defensive tackle rotation, also featuring seniors Casey Walker and Jamarcus McFarland, for the past two seasons.
At 6'4" and 300 pounds, McGee was the biggest defensive tackle in the rotation. In order to make up for his size and depth, it seems as though senior David King will slide over from defensive end to defensive tackle.
They told me today I'll be playing (defensive tackle) the first couple games of the season, King said. I've played there before, so it's nothing new for me. I'm comfortable playing down there. I'm heavy enough to where I can play down there and hold my weight. We'll see how it goes.
This likely means that sophomore Chuka Ndulue will move into King's spot as the starting defensive end opposite of R.J. Washington. With redshirt freshman Jordan Phillips being a stand out in spring and summer practice, I have to question whether this is the right decision. This basically means that Ndulue has shown more promise than Phillips thus far, and that's not exactly what we've all been hearing.
King, who is in line to be one of the best pass rushers for the Sooners this season, will have a harder time getting to the quarterback from the defensive tackle position. Does his transition to the interior of the line mean he'll be playing less snaps, or will Walker and McFarland's snaps take a hit?
Whatever the case, McGee's suspension has made things more confusing for the Sooners, to say the least. I'm sure King will be fine at defensive tackle, and I'm sure Ndulue will be fine at defensive end, but the original setup with King at end and McGee at tackle is much more settling.