In 2012, the Sooner defense will be trying to replace one of the best linebackers in school history, as Travis Lewis has now started his new career with the Detroit Lions. The Sooners though will still field experience and talent at linebacker and ready to go and play.
"Very excited,” said Oklahoma Linebacker Coach Tim Kish. “I think these guys have worked hard and are eager to get out there and hit somebody in a different colored jersey. The first game of the season is always a great week and I'm excited to see what we can do out there."
Kish says the linebackers have had a tremendous training camp. He says the guys have been impressive and are working their way onto the playing field.
"We have a lot of people that have been involved in the camp,” said Kish. “Of course it's Tom (Wort) in the middle with Frank Shannon and Jaydan Bird behind him. The outside backers would be Corey Nelson, Aaron (Franklin) and Joe (Ibiloye). Eric Striker hasn't gotten a whole lot of reps right now so he will be a special teams guy, learning on the run. I feel like we are three deep at both positions and if we use three linebackers then we will just add an extra outside linebacker.
"I try not to make any predictions. We've done a good job getting ready and preparing. I think these guys are well prepared. I'll be excited to see what they do when they get out there and the lights are on and the gun goes off. I have high expectations for them as I tell them every day and they should have high expectations for themselves. We expect to be ready to go out there and play a real solid game on Saturday night."
The Sooners and Miners kick off at 9:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday night.