OKLAHOMA STATE FOOTBALL: Glenn Spencer as Robin Hood?

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Between graduation and other losses, Spencer's side of the ball looks much less like a well armored, finely tuned unit and more like a rag tag bunch of woodsmen. Can the DC unite them for a cause and create a formidable force?

Take your pick...

OU?

Baylor?

Texas?

Doesn't matter to me. Any one of them can be cast as the evil "Sheriff of Nottingham."

But this season there is only one "Robin Hood."

Glenn Spencer very famously replaced Bill Young over a year ago, and immediately instilled a new culture on the defensive side of the ball. With a glut of senior leadership and a renewed Justin Gilbert, that side of the ball no longer made us take deep breathes in key moments. They weren't perfect, but the turnovers returned and the interior was among the best in the Big 12.

And no part of that unit was more important to that success than the linebackers.

Justin Gilbert was the highlight reel.

Calvin Barnett was the enforcer.

But Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey were the heart and soul of the defense, and they're long gone.

As we mentioned in our Spring Reviews, Ryan Simmons carries the bulk of the returning LB tackles.

Names that were mentioned during spring drills included Kris Catlin, Seth Jacobs, and Devante Averette.

Well, according the NewsOK's John Helsley, Catlin might have flunked out and Averette is reportedly a scratch for 2014 due to a knee injury. Another JUCO transfer that didn't qualify to enroll early, but was expected to help, was D’Nerius Antoine. Helsley also reported the Antoine may not qualify this summer.

Lovely.

There is no question that Spencer has his work cut out for him overall with the defense, but his specialty is linebacker and he appears to be losing players faster than he can bring them in.

The good news? Jacobs and Dominic Ramacher also drew Gundy's attention this spring, and both bring at least a tiny bit of experience.

After that, however, is literally NO experience, and Spencer is going to need at least 1 of the newcomers from this summer to step up. Recruiting depth will be on full display.

According to some, all the defensive experience that left may have masked, to some extent, Spencer's true abilities as a Defensive Coordinator, especially the leadership and space occupied by Lewis and Lavey.

There will definitely be no "mask" when Florida State comes to AT&T Stadium, but Spencer's grades won't be handed out then. Finals will come over the last three games of the season when OSU crosses paths with Texas, Baylor, and OU. Mid-terms will start with Texas Tech, and we should see something to discuss by then.

But let there be no mistake. We will most definitely know what kind of Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer is by the end of 2014, and we'll also have a lot of new linebackers.

GO POKES!!!

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