National Signing Day 2014 Preview: Oklahoma State Defense

A look at the 2014 Cowboy Defense Recruits ahead of National Signing Day.

The Cowboys lose a total of 28 players from the 2013 Roster. Here are the players that will be potentially replacing them on the defensive side of the ball.

Linebackers

Graduating:

Committed:

Gyasi Akem - Broken Arrow, OK
Position: Outside Linebacker
Measurables: 6-1 / 220
Offers: Baylor, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Missouri, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Washington State
Rankings
ESPN: 4 Star (82) #15 OLB (217th on ESPN 300)
Rivals: 4 Star (5.8) #9 OLB (157th Overall)
Notes
•Committed 4/21/2013
•Broken Arrow High School
•2012: 10 Solo Tackles (75 Total), 3 Sacks, 1 INT
•2013: 19 Solo Tackles (48 Total), 10 Tackles for a Loss, 1 INT
ESPN Evaluation
Overall, Akem has a lot of upside and the physical tools to polish up at the college level. Is well rounded and scheme versatile with the ability to play from different alignments and create disruption. Tough, physical style translates well to special teams, which adds to his value.
Josh Mabin - Spring, TX
Position: Inside Linebacker
Measurables: 6-2 / 227/ 40 Time 4.60
Offers: Baylor, Boise State, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Houston, Oklahoma, Washington State
Rankings
ESPN: 4 Star (81) #13 ILB
Rivals: 4 Star (5.7) #24 OLB
Notes
•Committed 8/21/2013
•Klein Oak High School
•199 Tackles combined Junior and Senior year
ESPN Evaluation
Mabin is a physical linebacker who can clean up between the tackles and make plays outside the hashes. Projects best as a run situational, early-down backer and he should be a mainstay on special teams.
Devante Averette - Melvindale, MI
Position: Inside Linebacker
Measurables: 6-0 / 230 / 40 Time 4.5
Offers: Florida Atlantic, North Texas, West Virginia
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (75) #6 JC ILB
Rivals: 3 Star (5.6) NR
Notes
•Signed Letter of Intent
•Ellsworth Community College
•2013: 29 Tackles for a Loss
•Currently enrolled at OSU for the Spring
ESPN Evaluation
Stout inside linebacker prospect with explosive strength and good physicality. Well-built with compact bulk and utilizes it well stacking the inside run. Strong closer and run-through tackler. Plays with the effort and toughness sough-after at the position.
Justin Phillips - Pearland, TX
Position: Inside Linebacker
Measurables: 5-11 / 215 / 40 Time 4.59
Offers: Florida Atlantic, North Texas, West Virginia
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (73) #47 ILB
Rivals: 3 Star (5.5) NR
Notes
•Committed 3/19/2013
•Pearland High School
•2013: 86 Tackles, 11 Tackles for a loss, 2 Sacks, 2 INT, 2 Fumble Recoveries
•300 LB max bench press and 35-inch vertical
ESPN Evaluation
This is a football player with a good nose for the ball that can't be measured. Phillips can do a lot at the position -- plug the inside run, chase plays down to the sideline, drop in coverage and pressure as a blitzer. Should provide good special teams coverage as well. We do not see immediate impact ability but he could be a late bloomer if he can hit a growth spurt and continue to physically develop.


Defensive End

Graduating:

  • Tyler Johnson

Committed:

Jordan Brailford - Tulsa, OK
Position: Defensive End
Measurables: 6-3 / 225 / 40 Time 4.5
Offers: Baylor, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Washington State
Rankings
ESPN: 4 Star (81) #27 DE (300th on ESPN 300)
Rivals: 3 Star (5.7) #23 DE
Notes
•Committed 4/16/2013
•Booker T. Washington High School
•8th Best Player in the state of Oklahoma according to ESPN
•Top Performer at the 2014 Semper Fi All-Star Game
ESPN Evaluation
Brailford comes across as just a good tough football player. Needs to keep developing aspects of his game to best maximize his abilities, but he demonstrates the ability to be a good productive contributor to a BCS level D-line.
Trey Carter - Dallas, TX
Position: Defensive End
Measurables: 6-4 / 250 / 40 Time 4.71
Offers: Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado State, Illinois, Kansas, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Tulane
Rankings
ESPN: 4 Star (80) #35 DE
Rivals: 3 Star (5.7) #20 SS DE
Notes
•Committed 11/26/2013
•Pinkston High School
•2012: 45 Tackles and 5 Sacks
•2013: 89 Tackles (30 Tackles for a Loss) and 15 Sacks
ESPN Evaluation
Carter can be a stout and tough defensive end with some swing potential and in time his better fit could be inside. Needs to keep developing to maximize ability, but prospect with good size and strength.
Cole Waltersheid - Muenster, TX
Position: Defensive End
Measurables: 6-6 / 210 / 40 Time 4.7
Offers: Boise State, North Texas, SMU, UTSA, UTEP
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (75) #89 DE
Rivals: 3 Star (5.6) NR
Notes
•Committed 6/11/2013
•Muenster High School
•2012: 53 Tackles (24 Tackles for a Loss), 8 Sacks, 2 INT
ESPN Evaluation
Walterscheid needs to keep physically developing and filling out, but is a solid football player. Also plays TE and with his height and toughness as a blocker he could develop into a solid TE/Y but defense looks to be a good fit at least initially. Needs to add size and develop further as a pass rusher and we don't see an immediate contributor but with some time and work can be a productive D-Lineman at the FBS level.
Jarrell Owens - Palestine, TX
Position: Defensive End
Measurables: 6-3 / 240 / 40 Time 4.66
Offers: TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Louisiana-Monroe
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (75) #114 RB
Rivals: 3 Star (5.7) #18 Weakside DE
Notes
•Committed 2/02/2014
•Palestine High School
•2014: 23 Tackles (6 Tackles for a Loss), 2 Caused Fumbles
ESPN Evaluation
Owens also demonstrates hands catching ability when running short release routes. His power and balance suggest the ability to wear down defenses and shorten the fourth quarter. His size and playing strength could lead to early situational playing time if a redshirt year is not necessary.


Cornerbacks

Graduating:

Committed:

Chris Hardeman - Houston, TX
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 5-8 / 190 / 40 Time 4.58
Offers: Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
Rankings
ESPN: 4 Star (81) #24 CB
Rivals: 3 Star (5.7) #36 CB
Notes
•Committed 8/11/2013
•Taylor High School
•2012: 47 Tackles 1 INT, 22 Breakups, 1 Fumble Recovery
•First Team All-District and 2nd Team All-State Honors
ESPN Evaluation
Hardeman is a lockdown corner lacking ideal size and speed measurables on paper, but is technically sound, has good recognition skills and is a fierce competitor. A projected coverage corner in college but will still have his challenges when it comes to the increased physicality of the next level. Overall, Hardeman will have some limitations but he will be ahead of the curve when it comes to the technical and mental part of game.
Juwan Offray - New Orleans, LA
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 5-11 / 180 / 40 Time 4.5
Offers: Nebraska
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (76) #43 CB
Rivals: 3 Star (5.6) #66 CB
Notes
•Committed 6/8/2013
•Edna Karr High School
•Participated in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl
ESPN Evaluation
Offrey's athleticism and toughness should prove very productive as a special teams coverage defender. Unless a red shirt year is deemed necessary, his instincts and play making ability could earn him early situational playing time.


Safeties

Graduating:

Committed:

Dylan Harding - Jenks, OK
Position: Safety
Measurables: 6-2 / 190 / 40 Time 4.4
Offers: Arizona State, Colorado State, Iowa State, Memphis, North Carolina, Oregon State, Texas Tech, UTSA, Toledo, Tulsa
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (78) #36 S
Rivals: 2 Star (5.4) NR
Notes
•Committed 8/11/2013
•Jenks High School
•2013: 59 Tackles, 1 INT, 7 TD on Offense
ESPN Evaluation
Harding's toughness and athleticism should prove beneficial as a special teams player. If a redshirt year isn't necessary, early situational playing time is a possibility.
D'Nerius Antoine - Athens, TX
Position: Safety/Outside Linebacker
Measurables: 6-2 / 190 / 40 Time 4.4
Offers: Oklahoma State
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (78) #1 JC S
Rivals: NR
Notes
•Committed 12/12/2013
•Trinity Valley Community College
•2013: 69 Tackles (56 Solo), 2 INT, 8 Pass Breakups
ESPN Evaluation
On his punt return skills alone Antoine should be a coveted prospect. We like the physical skills we see to develop on defense, perhaps as Nickel linebacker, but he may be more of a sub-package player at this point.
Kirk Tucker - Tucker, GA
Position: Safety
Measurables: 6-1 / 185 / 40 Time 4.4
Offers: Arkansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Ohio State, Stanford
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (77) #50 S
Rivals: 3 Star (5.7) #35 S
Notes
•Committed 1/25/2013
•Tucker High School
•2012: 60 Tackles (37 Solo), 7 Tackles for a loss, 3 INT
•2013: 55 Tackles (39 Solo), 12 Tackles for a loss, 8 Sacks, 3 INT
ESPN Evaluation
Tucker's toughness, athleticism and tackling skills should allow him to do a variety of jobs successfully on special teams. We see early playing time potential if a redshirt year is not necessary.
Trey Roberts - Houston, TX
Position: Athlete/Safety
Measurables: 6-1 / 190 / 40 Time 4.45
Offers: SMU and Utah
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (76) #85 ATH
Rivals: 3 Star (5.5) NR
Notes
•Committed 5/30/2013
•Eisenhower High School
•2013: Passing - 188 Passing Yards, 1 TD,
•Rushing: 41 Carries, 234 Yards (5.7 avg), 3 TD
Receiving: 18 Catches, 434 Yards (24 avg), 5 TD
ESPN Evaluation
Roberts is a candidate for a lower level BCS school as a S or WR. He might be looked at by a mid-level school because of his size. Should he gain a burst in speed it is possible his stock could really rise.
Ramon Richards - San Antonio, TX
Position: Athlete/Safety
Measurables: 6-1 / 190 / 40 Time 4.5
Offers: Houston and Rice
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (76) #89 ATH
Rivals: 2 Star (5.4) NR
Notes
•Committed 7/22/2013
•Brackenridge High School
•2012: Rushing: 160 Carries, 1163 Yards (7.3 avg), 19 TD
•Receiving: 20 Catches, 403 Yards (24 avg), 4 TD
ESPN Evaluation
Richards is a quality athlete that most likely will attract attention from the bigger BCS schools. He is smooth and versatile. Probably a Wide Receiver or a Defensive Back at the next level.


Defensive Linemen

Graduating:

Committed:

Jeremiah Ledbetter - Gainsville, GA
Position: Defensive Tackle
Measurables: 6-3 / 260 / 40 Time 4.8
Offers: Oklahoma State
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (76) #22 JC DT
Rivals: 2 Star (5.4) NR
Notes
•Committed 6/19/2013
•Huchinson Community College
•2013: 70 Tackles (27 Solo), 5 Tackles for a loss, 5 Sacks
ESPN Evaluation
Looks to carry a little more bulk then listed. Can hold ground one-on-one and flashes good upper body strength and heavy hands to extend and shed. Can wrap-up and finish as a tackler when he gets hands on ball carriers.
Joyan Williams - New Orleans, LA
Position: Defensive Tackle
Measurables: 6-3 / 255 / 40 Time 4.84
Offers: Oklahoma State
Rankings
ESPN: 3 Star (75) #91 DT
Rivals: 3 Star (5.6) #43 DT
Notes
•Committed 6/10/2013
•Edna Carr High School
ESPN Evaluation
Williams is a bit of a DL tweener. He moves around the D-line for his HS and can offer some swing potential, but best fit is at DT. While a strong kid, he will need to continue to add some more good mass to his frame. Lacks in ideals in areas, but shows some ability to get around the ball, make some plays and could develop into a strong addition to a DL rotation.

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