Sooners tinker with defensive options in spring

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops hopes a shake-up on his defensive staff will give players something to prove as the Sooners begin spring practice this week.

Stoops brought his brother, Mike, back in to run the defense and hired Tim Kish as the new linebackers coach as part of rare turnover among his assistant coaches.

Stoops says the Sooners will use the spring to tinker with several options on defense, including whether playmaker Tony Jefferson will end up as a free safety or the nickel back. That will give his staff the chance to figure out which combinations they like the best heading into the fall.

Stoops listed center Ben Habern (back), running back Dominique Whaley (knee), defensive tackle Casey Walker (shoulder), middle linebacker Tom Wort (back) and safety Aaron Colvin (shoulder) as the injured starters who will miss the spring.

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