Which new leaders emerge on Oklahoma State defense?

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Feb 27, 2018
Mark Cooper just posted the fourth part of his series of offseason burning questions leading up to Big 12 media days.

Previous entries have discussions ongoing at these links:
- How will the tight end fit into Oklahoma State's offense?
- Can continuity be the answer on OSU's special teams?
- Can Oklahoma State's young corners make the second-year leap?

Excerpt from part four...

Oklahoma State must find the new faces of its defense.

Two veterans who emerged in that role this spring: Justin Phillips and Darrion Daniels.

As a fifth-year senior, Phillips has appeared to embrace his role in the center of OSU’s defense. The Pearland, Texas, native shifted from weakside linebacker to the middle this spring, filling Whitener’s position, and perhaps no player was more vocally excited about the direction of Jim Knowles’ defense than Phillips.

And Phillips is poised for a productive year on the field, too. He recorded 64 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two interceptions in his first full year as a starter. According to SB Nation, he also led the OSU defense with 16 run stuffs.

Daniels is a second-year starter too. With a big voice and a big personality.