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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Roundtable: Biggest hole on defense?

By SoonerNation staff

Every Thursday, the SoonerNation staff will answer a roundtable question about OU football. Leave a comment or talk about it in our "There's Only One" forum.

Today's question: Which graduating Sooner leaves the biggest hole for Oklahoma to fill on defense in 2013?

Skye Dawson, Demontre Hurst
Sooners cornerback Demontre Hurst has been a three-year starter.
• One of the reasons that Oklahoma was so good against the pass this season was its cornerback tandem. Aaron Colvin was the star of this duo, earning All-Big 12 honors. But Demontre Hurst also provided standout coverage. In the last three years, the Sooners have never had to worry about the steady, durable Hurst or his position. That changes in the spring. Gary Simon has potential and Cortez Johnson has experience from Arizona. But neither is the player yet that Hurst has proved to be.
-- Jake Trotter

• It's hard to imagine a tougher guy to replace than David King. The senior defensive end has been a rock for the Sooners. When OU needed him to move to defensive tackle for the first few games of the season, he did. When adversity hit this season, it was King who showed his leadership and challenged his teammates to keep fighting. While his on-field production (25 tackles and 1.5 sacks) wasn't eye-popping in his final season, King was invaluable for the Sooners. He played a major role in OU's 10-2 record and Cotton Bowl berth. King's versatility and leadership will be difficult for the Sooners to replace in 2013.
-- Brandon Chatmon

• This one's a no-brainer: defensive tackle Casey Walker. The Sooners have desperately been looking for DT help on the recruiting trail because the coaches aren't sure about who is coming back to campus in 2013. With Walker and Stacy McGee, that wasn't a problem. Both missed time early in the season for different reasons but were effective when playing together. OU is solid at other spots defensively, but without the addition of at least one or two immediate impact tackles, it simply isn't going to matter. These next two months on the trail will be crucial for OU.
-- Bob Przybylo