I believe they can... and I don't think the question wll be who will be the players (m)
By WolfsBane on 11:18:05 07/11/19
[In reply to "5 of 8 last NC's have been #1 in Scoring D. 7 of 8 have been in top 10. Prospects for OSU to get back in top 5 on D? (m)" by Barrett777, posted at 10:57:24 07/11/19]
The D line is pretty much stacked, and the guy grooming this group is Larry Johnson.... full stop, nothing else needs to be added. His charges are going to be playing a little differently this coming year, but it will be by choice of scheme put together by the defensive staff brain trust. My only concern there will be to make sure that we are maintaining outside containment.
Linebackers is going to be a pretty transformed unit with Mattison and Washington at the helm, IMO. It is back to fundamentals with this group. To do what linebackers are supposed to be doing. That process has been well underway since the beginning of spring. But IMO, we are going to be seeing better read/react, better gap integrity, better angles of pursuit, and less in the form of play over runs. And it all comes down to... coaching. The players have always been there, IMO.
The back 4, (or 5 when warranted), are also going to be vastly improved. Everything I've heard of Hafley points to a person that doesn't only understand the pass defense game... but is able to effectively teach his concepts to his charges to the point that they can read, recognize, and play fast and aggressive. And do so as an effective cohesive unit.
IMO, we have all the necessary components on defense for a vast, vast improvement.