By NATE GRIFFIN, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (CBS-Houston) When the Owls take the field Friday night for the Annual Blue-Gray Spring Game, lots of new faces will hit the field, probably more noticeably on the defensive side of the ball. Gone are defensive line starters Scott Solomon, Michael Smith, and John Gioffre. Linebacker Justin Allen, cornerback and safeties Chris Jammer, Denzel Wells, and Xavier Webb are all gone.

Those names represent a little more than half of the 2011 starting defense. Usher in a new system with new players and a new Defensive Coordinator and suddenly the Owls look to possibly change their fortune with the 2012 season and beyond.


Former defensive backs coach, Chris Thurmond, is that new Defensive Coordinator in charge of putting the Owls in strategic places on the field to prey on opposing offenses. He has been coaching defenses such as Alabama, Oklahoma, Tulsa, TCU, East Carolina, and Kentucky since 1983.

When former University of Houston Head Coach Art Briles accepted the head coaching position with Baylor in 2007, Thurmond was the Cougars defensive backs coach who was immediately promoted to interim head coach. He was also tagged with the responsibility of leading the Cougars in the Texas Bowl against Gary Patterson and TCU.

This Friday night Thurmond will be tagged with leading his defense against the Owls’ offense and hopes to get an idea of how his new defense will play in the fall.



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