May 16, 2006
Spring Grades: DTs
SoonerScoop.com will close out the spring by taking a look at each of the positions on the Sooner football team over the next two weeks. The defensive tackle position was expected to be an area of transition during the spring. With Dusty Dvoracek graduating from the program, the Sooners are looking at a youth movement in the trenches. Demarcus Granger was able to get his most meaningful duty to date and other players such as Cory Bennett, Steven Coleman and Billy Blackard would all receive opportunities to lock up spots in the rotation.
Jackie Shipps' group suffered one defection when Brian Simmons was recruited to take over a spot on the offensive line. Carl Pendleton returned as the most experienced defensive tackle, but he was sidelined all spring with an injury. With Gerald McCoy entering the program next fall, it was clear players had to make positive impressions in order to stay in the rotation next fall.
OVERALL GRADE: B-
Granger proved he is ready to take over a major role along the defensive line. His physical transformation was nothing short of amazing, but he backed up his high school hype with a very solid spring. Cory Bennett was also very solid as many expected him to be and Coleman showed he is still making positive progress under Shipp.
Pendleton will certainly figure into the mix next fall as he has more starts at defensive tackle than all other players combined. This wasn't a spectacular unit, but it was a very solid unit.
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