April 13, 2007

Lofton bouncing into a starting spot next fall

Curtis Lofton could have been seen as the odd man out during the 2006 season. Every week Brent Venables talked about wanting to get Lofton more involved in the defensive gameplan. But with players such as Zach Latimer and Rufus Alexander having a stranglehold on the middle and weakside linebacker spots, the opportunities to play were minimal.

Heading into 2007, Lofton won't have a problem finding an opportunity. The only question becomes whether he will be the Sooners' middle or weakside linebacker next season. SoonerScoop.com Editor caught up with Curtis Lofton to get his take on the development of the linebackers this spring and where he might play next year.

SoonerScoop.com: How do you evaluate the way the linebackers have played as a group this spring?
Curtis Lofton:
For the most part and overall, I think we did a pretty good job as a linebacker group. Right now we're just trying to get to know the defense, get the calls right and line up. The main thing is that we had to shuffle guys around when Ryan got hurt. We just had to get lined up and ready to go down hill.

SS.com: I know a lot depends on what happens with Mike Reed at middle linebacker and how well he can pick up the system, but has that made it more work for you? Not knowing if you're going to end up at MIKE or WILL?
Lofton:
It made it hard but I just had to get in my playbook and study more. I know the defense but once you've played MIKE for so long, then you have to go play WILL and everything is just totally different. Your run fills, your pass coverage - now I'm just trying to push things knowledge-wise.

SS.com: I know you can play both, but for you, which spot is more fun to play?
Lofton:
I like playing MIKE a lot because at WILL you're kind of on the edge of things. At MIKE, you're pretty much just straight downhill. That's what I like to do.



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