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Austin Box: "We're Brothers"
This time it's junior linebacker Austin Box that's making the claims. "Right now, [we're] just getting a feel for our defense," Box said. And he's been doing that in multiple positions. "You know, I'm going at the MIKE and the WILL," Box said. "And, you know, it just helps me out a lot kind of figuring out exactly what everybody's doing on the field, not just at my positions, and so far I feel like everybody's done a really good job. The coaches, especially, have given us a lot of reps." As for Box, he comes in as only one of two linebackers that is a junior or older, with the other one being senior Travis Lewis. He is currently listed as the backup to sophomore Ronnell Lewis, and that group of linebackers has some serious youth talent with redshirt freshman Tom Wort listed at the MIKE and sophomores Daniel Franklin and Jaydan Bird rounding it out. So that's fueled the competition, but it's something Box said must be kept into perspective. "We all know we're family and we're brothers, so I know everybody's fighting for a position," Box said. "But really we're just out there to help each other out, and at the end of the day, you know, we're just together. You know, we just come together as a family. For that two-and-a-half hour practice, we are battling. We are trying to fight for positioning, but really we're just there to help each other out and get better." And this time around, Box has a chance to compete in good health, which puts him further along than he has been in previous springs. "This has also been for me one of the first springs that I've been healthy the past two years, you know," Box said. "So really for me I just see it as an opportunity where I can really try to help put myself in a position to play a lot next year." One thing's for sure: Even with replacing two of last year's starters at linebacker, the Sooners have a chance to roll out a great group.
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