More Recent Stories
Wilsonâ€™s Defensive Wisdom
On Sale At Newsstands June 4!
OU defensive ends coach talks about the 2007 season
As a player at the University of Oklahoma, Chris Wilson built a reputation as a hard-nosed, ball-hawking linebacker who made a living disrupting opposing offenses. The Dallas native played for the Sooners from 1988-91, lettering all four seasons, including three as a starter.
Wilson earned second-team All-Big Eight honors three times and performed well enough to garner a spot on the 1991 Butkus Award watch list. He earned third-team All-America honors as a junior, and he finished his career with 311 tackles, which still rank in OUâ€™s top 20.
As an assistant coach for the Sooners, Wilson brings to the program the same intensity and work ethic that propelled him to success as a player. Entering his third season as the teamâ€™s defensive ends coach this fall, the 38-year-old Wilson is excited about the prospects for 2007.
Sooner Spectator recently caught up with an on-the-go Wilson in between a recruiting trip and summer football camps. He talked about OUâ€™s defense, new faces on the front line and his feelings on being back at his alma mater:
Sooner Spectator: Are you happy with the way the offseason has gone, especially spring football and that evaluation period? And is everything on target heading into the 2007 season?
Chris Wilson: Going back early on, I felt like we had a really good group of young guys who were talented, but really didnâ€™t have any experience. The only two guys who had played any significant amount were John Williams and Alonzo Dotson. It was a spring for us that was mostly about getting the right guys lots of repetitions and getting them in the right place, and more than anything, playing fundamentally sound. Thatâ€™s always our goal going into spring.
In the end, I felt like we kind of found solid group of guys who â€” with continued development this summer â€” we feel pretty good about going into fall camp with. John Williams and Alonzo Dotson are a couple of those guys, along with Auston English and Alan Davis. All of those guys really came on during the spring, and another guy who made some good strides is Jeremy Beal.
SS: Alan Davis moved back over from offense this spring, right?
Wilson: Thatâ€™s right. Alan is a kid who went over and helped on the offensive side of the ball, played some fullback and did a nice job. But in the end, we felt he had a better chance overall to help the team on defense. His move back over has been a plus for us.
SS: How about your young guys coming in like Frank Alexander, Jonte Bumpus and David Anderson?
Wilson: All of those guys will have an opportunity to come in and show what they can do. Weâ€™ve played 22 true freshman, I believe, just in the first two years Iâ€™ve been here. The best guys are going to play. Period. The guys who come out and learn the system and prove themselves every day are going to be there.
SS: It sounds like you really like the core of players you are working with right now?
Wilson: I do. Weâ€™ve obviously got a lot of work in front of us and this offseason with Coach (Jerry) Schmidt is going to be critical. But I believe this bunch gives us a chance to go in and be competitive at this level. We feel all of these guys have a good understanding of our defense and they are all capable of going out and making plays for us.
I like the positive attitude our guys have and their willingness to work hard and continue to improve. We have a lot of athletic ability, which is exciting too. I believe we have a lot to look forward to.
(Editor's Note: This is only a portion of the interview with Chris Wilson that appears in Sooner Spectator's 2007 Football Preview Issue; To subscribe, call toll free 1-888-335-4385)