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Saturday, February 2, 2013
Newest 2014 commit brings versatility

By Brandon Chatmon

Oklahoma is gearing up its defense with the hope of regaining its reputation as one of the Big 12’s top defenses. Yet, that will not happen without some minor adjustments in the Sooners’ defensive personnel with a eye on versatility at several different positions.

OU took another step toward fielding a more versatile defense in the future with the commitment of 2014 prospect Vontre McQuinnie (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) on Saturday. The junior has the ability to play linebacker or safety at OU, making him a valuable asset as the Sooners look to start quickly and land recruits to fill their Class of 2014.

If McQuinnie develops into a linebacker, he could be a solid, yet undersized, linebacker in the mold of Corey Nelson or Aaron Franklin. At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, McQuinnie is willing to be physical and make plays near the line of scrimmage yet should be able to handle the coverage abilities of an outside linebacker.

If he ends up at safety, McQuinnie could be a safety in the mold of Javon Harris or Tony Jefferson. He’s willing to attack the line of scrimmage and be physical in the running game yet is comfortable making tackles in open-field situations, which he’d face each Saturday as a safety in the Big 12.

Above all, McQuinnie should bring versatility to the Sooners’ roster and could emerge as a much-needed asset against Big 12 offenses designed to create individual matchups and attack defenders' limitations.