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Football Recruiting: What’s next for Oklahoma State on defense for 2021?

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The Cowboys need to focus on replenishing their depth on the defensive line.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 Oklahoma State at West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With most of the offers for 2021 prospects handed out, the majority of the effort is now focused on convincing those players to commit to Oklahoma State. But who are the Cowboys focusing their efforts on?

We broke down the offensive position groups last week. Today we’ll wrap up with the defensive position groups.

Cornerback:

3 commits

OSU will lose two corners at the end of this season in Rodarius Williams and Christian Holmes. Yes, they lost two corners to the transfer portal this offseason, but this is a position group that has a lot of youth.

With the three guys already committed — Raymond Gay, Cam Smith, and Makale Smith — this position group feels set.

However, I don’t think OSU could look at adding another graduate transfer as they work to develop the younger players. It will depend on how Thomas Harper, Demarco Jones and the three true freshman do this season.

Expectation: All done

Defensive Tackle;

0 commits

OSU will lose two tackles in 2021, but from the looks of it will only look to replace one. The name everyone knows is in-state product Aden Kelley of Thomas.

But OSU isn’t the only school after the four-star prospect. TCU has been making a strong push and a good impression. It’s looking like this will depend on whether or not Kelley wants to stay in-state or go out.

If OSU misses out on Kelley, keep an eye on three-star Melvin Swindle out of Oklahoma City. OSU doesn’t look to be among his top schools at the moment, but that’s likely due to the Cowboys push for Kelley.

Expectation: One to go

Defensive End:

0 commits

This position is in a similar situation to the defensive tackle as OSU isn’t losing a lot after this season. Barring an early exit or transfer OSU will only lose Amadou Fofana. And with the players they will bring back — Brock Martin, Trace Ford and Collin Clay, among others — it doesn’t seem like a position group that needs a lot.

That said, I wouldn’t be shocked to see OSU try and bring in as many as two ends. The Cowboys didn’t bring one in for 2020, so it would be wise to land at least one, if not two, for 2021.

But who?

Every defensive end OSU has offered has either committed or is leaning elsewhere. At this point, I have no idea who to keep an eye on. We’ll see a few more offers go out during the next couple of months, or watch someone be brought in with the intent of moving them to end.

Again, while the position group is pretty stacked, OSU doesn’t want to go two-straight recruiting classes without bringing someone in at any position.

Expectation: One to go

Linebacker:

2 commits

OSU has two linebackers in the class with Collin Oliver and Kolbe Fields, but I don’t think they’re done.

The Cowboys will likely lose Calvin Bundgae, Devin Harper, Amen Ogbongbemiga and Malcolm Rodriguez after this season. Even with the addition of three linebackers in the 2020 class this is a position group that’s about to get pretty thin.

I’d watch three-star Jackie Marshall from Reserve, Louisiana; outside linebacker Donovan Stephens of Del City; and Stephens’ teammate Rejhan Tatum.

Marshall listed the Cowboys in his top five in May along with Baylor, Houston, Louisiana Tech and Texas Tech. Stephens is believed to be down to OSU and Texas Tech. He originally set his commitment announcement for May 1, but didn’t and still hasn’t.

My guess is OSU adds one more linebacker for sure and potentially two.

Expectation: One or two to go

Safety

1 commit

This is a position group OSU coaches should feel good about for the next couple years with three juniors and three sophomores on the roster. That said, even with four-star Ty Williams committed, I get the feeling OSU might try to bring in one more.

I’d be watching three-star prospects CJ Baskerville of North Richland Hills, Texas; Jeffrey Bassa of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Lyrik Rawls of Marshall, Texas.

Baskerville has been a top target for awhile and has felt like a likely OSU commit. After watching his tape, I like Bassa and was surprised he hadn’t committed for some time. Offers continue to roll in and I think OSU has lost a step in his recruitment.

Baskerville feels like the pick here and I wouldn’t be shocked if he announced a commitment to OSU anytime in the near future.

Expectation: One to go