Oklahoma State Has Veteran-Led Linebackers in 2019

first_imgSTILLWATER — The Cowboys start two linebackers in Jim Knowles’ 4-2-5 system, and that unit seems to be in a good spot with four veteran guys available.Calvin Bundage, Kevin Henry, Devin Harper and Amen Ogbongbemiga all got playing time in 2018, and it looks like that group is in a good spot going forward.“We have enough veterans who understand the system. We have enough guys to be good right away,” Knowles said Monday. “Kevin Henry has been kind of limited with injuries his whole career really came on toward the end of the last season and ended up starting the bowl game for us.”Henry played in just 10 games, missing Boise State and Texas Tech before playing three games then missing the Texas game. He finished strong, picking up his only start of the season in the Cowboys’ Liberty Bowl victory against Missouri. Calvin Bundage missed two games in 2018 including the bowl game.Harper played in all 13 games last year, but made only one start — against Kansas. Ogbongbemiga also played in all 13 games, but he didn’t start any, backing up Justin Phillips.So, the quartet of Bundage, Henry, Harper and Ogbongbemiga combined for 13 starts, but 11 of those came from Bundage. With the chance of more injuries, depth could prove to be important. Knowles said true freshman Na’Drian Dizadare will play some in 2019. It’s a young group behind those first four apart from Philip Redwine-Bryant, who was recently put on scholarship.Last season it seemed Calvin Bundage was either making a ridiculously athletic play or a head-scratching one. Despite missing two games, Bundage still finished fourth on the team in tackles, making him the only player in OSU’s Top 13 tacklers from last season to have missed a game, and he missed two.“Calvin has been working extremely hard,” Knowles said. “He battles injuries. He’s still battling them in the offseason. When you look at Calvin from the beginning of the season to the end of the season, completely different, right? In our system and in our structure, this was built for him. He wreaked havoc early on, but by the end of the year, he was worn out. We need to get him to a point where he can consistently play that length of the season. He’s working hard to develop his body to do that.”Ogbongbemiga has a tall task in front of him replacing Phillips’ production. Phillips led the Cowboys with 98 total tackles in 2018, that’s 15 more than second place Malcolm Rodriguez. Ogbongbemiga showed glances of what he could do as a sophomore last year. He finished with only 12 tackles but he played well particularly in Bedlam, where he sacked Kyler Murray eight yards behind the line of scrimmage.“Amen is a guy who I have been building since I arrived, knowing that Justin was only going to be with me for one year,” Knowles said. “Amen is a guy who I have been building since I arrived. I’m pretty hard on him to pick up the system, to learn the system because I expect him to really be the quarterback of the whole defense. I have a lot of faith in him, too.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img