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OU 2010 Players to Watch, Day 8: Jamarkus McFarland

Jamarkus McFarland Tackles Texas A&M Quarterback Ryan Tannehill Jamarkus McFarland Tackles Texas A&M Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

Originally Published: Feb 20, 2010 10:2 PM CDT

More on Oklahoma Sports
- OSU Player to Watch, Day 8: Shaun Lewis
- TU Player to Watch, Day 8: Thomas Roberson



Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

DT Jamarkus McFarland

Background:

From Lufkin High School in Lufkin, Texas, McFarland was named the top lineman nationally by Parade and the No. 3 defensive tackle by Scout.com. During his senior season, he recorded 53 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four sacks. He saw action in seven games last season and had eight tackles, including 2.5 sacks.

Why he’s on the list:

The Sooners have enjoyed dominant play from their interior defensive linemen for years, particularly from Gerald McCoy. McCoy has now moved on to the NFL, while DeMarcus Granger and Cordero Moore have both graduated. McFarland will be expected to fill in immediately and keep the level of play high. The Sooners rely heavily on their defensive line, and McFarland is expected to become its new anchor.

Best-case scenario:

McFarland steps in and becomes a force along the defensive line. His combination of strength and quickness allows him to harass quarterbacks and stuff the run equally well. He also commands respect from the offense, which draws multiple blockers onto him. That frees Jeremy Beal to rush the passer off the end and allows the Sooners to get consistent pressure on the quarterback without having to blitz linebackers.

Worst-case scenario:

McFarland is unable to successfully battle premiere offensive linemen and becomes a virtual non-factor. If one blocker is able to contain him, it allows opponents to move another blocker to the second level and take care of a linebacker. Such a blocking scheme is a recipe for disaster against the running game, and could leave the Sooners open to explosive runs up the middle.

My take:

McFarland did not see much action last season, but when he did he made the most of it. He showed an ability to get up the field and disrupt plays in the backfield, but he did not have to do it for 60 minutes. Gerald McCoy had a motor that ran from start to finish and he never took plays off. If McFarland’s energy can match his physical gifts, he should become a dominant member of the Sooners line.

Other OU players to watch (click the names below for stories)
- Day 1: Jaz Reynolds
- Day 2: Stephen Good
- Day 3: Sam Proctor
- Day 4: Jonathan Nelson
- Day 5: Tyler Evans
- Day 6: Jermie Calhoun
- Day 7: Drew Allen

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