Oklahoma football 2013: 3 departures put depth chart in peril

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

With the exit of these three players, the Sooners have some serious depth concerns at defensive tackle and in the secondary.

Defensive tackles Marquis Anderson and Damon Williams along with cornerback Gary Simon are no longer members of the Oklahoma football team, leaving the Sooners with some major depth issues on the defensive side of the ball.

The trio played sparingly during the 2012 season. Anderson saw time in four games, and had two tackles for loss. Williams played in just one game, and Simon appeared in three, making two tackles.

The Sooners lost a lot of defensive line depth to graduation -- that includes defensive ends R.J. Washington and David King, as well as defensive tackles Casey Walker, Stacy McGee and Jamarkus McFarland. With Anderson and Williams gone with them, only three defensive tackles remain on the roster, and Oklahoma does not have many options in terms of moving one of its defensive ends to the middle. The biggest defensive end listed on OU's roster is 265-pound Charles Tapper, and the defensive tackles on the Sooners' two-deep last season all weighed at least 288 pounds.

The Sooners are also currently without a defensive line coach, which isn't helping matters.

Oklahoma does have a four defensive tackles in its 2013 recruiting class -- Kerrick Huggins (282 pounds), Quincy Russell (305), Charles Walker (280) and Matthew Romar (276) -- and they may be called upon for immediate help. None of them enrolled early, though, which means they'll have to be quick learners come the start of fall camp.

In the defensive secondary, Simon served as depth at the right cornerback position. The starter at that spot, Aaron Colvin, is back for 2013. But Oklahoma lost cornerback Demontre Hurst and strong safety Javon Harris to graduation, while free safety Tony Jefferson declared for the draft. That means the Sooners must replace three of four starters in the secondary, and there are only four defensive backs on the roster that had significant playing time last season. Jefferson and Harris finished 2012 1-2 on the team in tackles and accounted for eight of the Sooners' 13 interceptions.

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