Oklahoma mailbag: Are Sooners ready to alter their defensive scheme?

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The Sooners had a great haul of defensive linemen in the 2018 recruiting class. Defensive end Ronnie Perkins (No. 66), defensive tackle Michael Thompson (No. 72), defensive end Ron Tatum (No. 101) and defensive end Jalen Redmond (No. 135) were 4-star prospects ranked in the top 150 of the 247Sports composite rankings.

With the emphasis on defensive linemen, there are many wondering if the Sooners will alter their defensive scheme in the future.

Marco Salcedo asks, as many defensive linemen as OU is getting, could they change to a four-man front with all the talent?

Oklahoma certainly could as early as the season opener. As it stands right now, the Sooners have 18 scholarship defensive linemen for the 2018 season. The number would indicate the Sooners want to use a four-man front going forward.

But it’s important to remember that the Sooners used a four-man front much of the time last season. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was rarely in a three-point stance and he did drop into coverage, much to the chagrin of some fans, from time to time. But Okoronkwo was on the line of scrimmage, which made him a defensive end.

The thing to remember is every quality defense has to remain multiple. There are different reasons for running different fronts. Those can range from talent to the blocking scheme Oklahoma is going against to down and distance.

The numbers indicate Oklahoma is likely to use the four-man front more next season. When preseason practice begins in August, it will be four deep at four spots.

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