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National Signing Day 2015 Preview: Oklahoma State Defense

A look at the 2015 Cowboy defensive recruits ahead of National Signing Day.

Kenneth McGruder is set to sign with the Pokes
Kenneth McGruder is set to sign with the Pokes
Scout.com

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.

Defensive Linemen

Graduating:

  • James Castleman, Ofa Hautau, Sam Wren, Deonte Cruse,

Committed:

Louis Brown - Burton, TX
Position: Defensive End / Athlete
Measurables: 6-5 | 210 lbs
Offers: Texas, Baylor, Lamar, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas State, Texas Tech
Rankings
ESPN: ★★★★ | #23 Athlete | 267th on ESPN300
Rivals: ★★★ | #37 Athlete
Scout: ★★★ | #37 Defensive End
Notes
•Committed 1/24/2015
•Burton High School
•Close to 500 total tackles in High School
• 87 carries for 1,015 yards with an 11.7 ypc average and 10 touchdowns
ESPN Evaluation
Given his measurables, Brown is an exceptional athlete. The job for a college coaching staff is to turn him into an exceptional player. A redshirt year with significant time in the weight room will do him wonders. Physically he shows many similarities to Texas A&M defensive end Daeshon Hall. He is a project, but he has physical talents that are impressive.
Darrion Daniels - Dallas, TX
Position: Defensive Tackle
Measurables: 6-4 | 290 lbs
Offers: OU, Texas Tech, Iowa, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Tulsa, USC, Wake Forest, Washington State, Wisconsin
Rankings
ESPN:  ★★★★ | #27 Defensive Tackle
Rivals: ★★★★ | #16 Defensive Tackle | 161st Overall Prospect
Scout: ★★★★ | #22 Defensive Tackle | 226th Overall Prospect
Notes
•Committed 1/30/2015
•Bishop Dunne High School
•Two-time All-State Defensive Tackle
•67 total tackles, 38 unassisted, 28.0 tackles for loss, and 8.0 sacks
ESPN Evaluation
Daniels has very good upside due to his size and ability to move on his feet. Has to be more consistent with his get off but shows flashes of good ability to disrupt with above average snap anticipation. Most likely a Power Conference prospect with good overall versatility.
Motekiai Maile - Pittsburg, CA
Position: Defensive Tackle
Measurables: 6-4 | 300 lbs
Offers: Arizona State, Mississippi State, North Texas, SMU, TCU, Texas Tech
Rankings
ESPN: ★★★ | #8 JC Defensive Tackle | #49 on JC50
Rivals: ★★★
Scout: ★★★ | #33 on JC Top 100
Notes
•Committed 6/9/2014
•Tyler Junior College
•2014: 30 Tackles, 4.5 Sacks, 1 Fumble Recovery
ESPN Evaluation
Maile has good size, strength and can be active with his hands. Needs to work to be more consistent with his technique, but displays the ability to be a good, quick contributor to a D-Line.
Taaj Bakari - Mansfield, TX
Position: Defensive Tackle
Measurables: 6-2 | 275 lbs
Offers: Colorado, Colorado State, North Texas, TCU
Rankings
ESPN: ★★★ | #57 Defensive Tackle
Rivals: ★★★
Scout: ★★★ | #32 Defensive Tackle
Notes
•Committed 4/13/2014
•Mansfield Legacy High School
•2014: 65 Tackles (6 Tackles for a Loss), 3 Sacks, 2 Caused Fumbles
ESPN Evaluation
Bakari demonstrates the tools to be a solid, well-rounded player in the defensive trenches. Lacking slightly in ideal size and he needs to make improvements, but can with development at least be a solid effective contributor to a power conference D-Line.

Safeties

Graduating:

  • Larry Stephens, DeShawn Franklin, Elliot Jeffcoat

Committed:

Kevin Henry - Baton Rouge, LA
Position: Safety
Measurables: 6-1 | 217 lbs
Offers: LSU, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana Monroe, Ole Miss, Southern
Rankings
ESPN: ★★★ | #21 Safety | #271 on ESPN 300
Rivals: ★★★ | #32 Safety
Scout: ★★★ | #54 Safety
Notes
•Committed 9/23/2014
•Central High School
•2013: 47 Tackles, 2 INT, 1 Sack
ESPN Evaluation
Henry is an active, well-rounded safety who is productive versus both the run and pass and makes his biggest impact in zone schemes. Has a good physical tools and an aggressive demeanor that could lead to recruitment in a hybrid linebacker role if continued size is gained.
Kenneth McGruder- Houston, TX
Position: Safety
Measurables: 6-2 | 203 lbs
Offers: Arkansas, Boise State, California, Colorado, Iowa State, Louisville, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon State, Tulsa, Utah, UTSA, Washington
Rankings
ESPN: ★★★ | #38 Safety
Rivals: ★★★ | #49 Safety
Rivals: ★★★★ | #30 Safety
Notes
•Committed 12/14/2014
•Alief Taylor High School
•8th Ranked Safety in Texas according to Scout.
ESPN Evaluation
McGruder's athleticism and toughness should allow him to do a variety of jobs on special teams; with continued growth and improved playing strength, early playing time at the power conference level of competition is not out of the question.
Bryce Balous - McKinney, TX
Position: Safety
Measurables: 5-11 | 180 lbs | 40 Time 4.39
Offers: Arkansas State, Iowa, Kansas State, Nevada, Texas Tech
Rankings
ESPN: ★★★ | #132 Safety
Rivals: ★★★
Scout: ★★★ | #61 Safety
Notes
•Committed 12/10/2014
•McKinney North High School
•2014: 163 Tackles (120 Solo), 1 INT, 2 Fumble Recoveries
ESPN Evaluation
Balous is a mid-major type of player to be developed. His speed may make him attractive to others but has to improve his instinctive play to be effective at a higher level.

Linebackers

Graduating:

  • Josh Furman

Committed:

Za'Carrius Green- Duncanville, TX
Position: Outside Linebacker / Safety
Measurables: 6-0 | 190 lbs | 40 Time 4.55
Offers: Kansas, Iowa State, Iowa, Louisiana Tech, North Texas
Rankings
ESPN: ★★★ | #41 Safety
Rivals: ★★★ OLB
Scout: ★★★ | #61 OLB
Notes
•Committed 6/20/2014
•Duncanville High School
•2014: 3 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Recovery, 1 Caused Fumble
ESPN Evaluation
In addition to his outstanding play on defense, Green is very productive playing special teams; excels covering kickoffs and should be able to do a variety of jobs well. Depending upon how fast expanded coverage skills are acquired will most likely determine whether a red shirt year is needed.

View 2015 Class