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Notebook: Cowboys defense prepared to be nationally recognized in 2021

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McCalister Tre Sterling

Spring practice took place for the third week in Stillwater. On Tuesday at the podium stood cowboy back Logan Carter, safety Tre Sterling and offensive lineman Josh Sills.

Here’s what they had to say.

The running backs are poised to be a force nationally.

With Chuba Hubbard going to the NFL, the Cowboys proved they could work well in the backfield while Hubbard remained on the sideline at times. Josh Sills came in as a big part to help this offensive line work with Hubbard. Now, he said he has multiple reliable running backs returning in 2021.

“It’s special,” Sills said. “You have LD (Brown), you have Dez (Jackson), you have Dominic (Richardson), and then you have Jaylen (Warren). That’s just in my opinion the most impressive running back room in the country. They’re all really quick.”

The defensive presence in Stillwater is just as good as last year. 

With the veteran defensive presence in the lineup, the Cowboys are only looking up from here.

Sterling spoke highly on his group of guys from a national perspective.

“I still see us being in the place where we were last year as the best secondary in the nation,” Sterling said. “There’s no doubt we have the best free safeties, pound-for-pound. We’re going to continue to hold that crown and stuff like that and keep our throne.”

As an offensive powerhouse since the beginning of the century, especially since the Mike Gundy era, Sterling said that there’s a new identity being felt in Stillwater.

“It’s really important because I want this university to continue to be successful on defense,” Sterling said. “When I first got here, it was more of an offensive school, offensive sided with Mason (Rudolph), James (Washington), Chris Lacy and all of them, since Coach Knowles came in, it shifted that entire dynamic.”

Sills the Cowboy

Sills was expected to be a big boost for this offensive line for the Cowboys in 2020 after transferring from West Virginia, and he panned out alongside Teven Jenkins.

He gave his thoughts on his unusual transfer during the pandemic and where he is now.

“The biggest thing for me is, I would say, it kind of taught me a lot about myself as far as to how to build relationships with people you couldn’t necessarily see face-to-face kind of,” Sills said. “It’s helped me tremendously and I’m beyond thankful to be here and be in the position that I am today.”

Sills put his name in the transfer portal and told his coach what he wanted to do and why.

He said that he had a fine transition to Stillwater.

“I just talked to one of the compliance guys and just told him that I wanted to put my name into the transfer portal,” Sills said. “It was really smooth, they didn’t hold anything, but the beautiful thing about it for me was I was a grad transfer.”