Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops explains Julian Wilson's move to cornerback

by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: August 26, 2014
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Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said senior Julian Wilson’s move to cornerback “went as good as I could have ever hoped for.”

So what took so long?

Wilson, who was recruited as a cornerback out of Southmoore in 2010, started all 13 of Oklahoma’s games at nickelback last season.

Stoops said Wilson was rushing the quarterback more last year than he was dropping into coverage, and OU coaches want junior linebacker Eric Striker — one of the nation’s elite pass rushers — to do more of that this season.

“We started thinking — Mike (Stoops, the defensive coordinator) and the defensive coaches — who would you rather have rushing, Eric or Julian? It’s pretty evident it wouldn’t be (Wilson),” Stoops said. “In some instances, not having a nickel on the field as much fit moving Julian out there.”

Wilson said that despite the fact that he’s been named the starter for Saturday’s season opener against Louisiana Tech, he isn’t getting comfortable because of the talented players behind him.

“It feels good, but the work is far from being done,” Wilson said. “I can’t sit back and get comfortable now that I’m the starter because there’s a lot of young guys pushing for spots.

“Those young guys are out there competing every day. So really I’m holding my playing ability to a higher standard now that I am the starter.”

FORD HAPPY HE DIDN’T REDSHIRT LAST YEAR

Oklahoma sophomore running back Keith Ford expected to redshirt last season, especially with three seniors — Brennan Clay, Roy Finch and Damien Williams — ahead of him on the depth chart.

“I had some doubt in my mind my freshman year because I knew there were three seniors in front of me, but you know, I just kept having faith and working hard,” Ford said. “I didn’t get redshirted so I was really happy about that.”

Ford appeared in 10 games as a true freshman, carrying the ball 23 times for 134 yards and a touchdown. The Cypress, Texas, native is battling with fellow sophomore Alex Ross to be the Sooners’ primary ballcarrier in 2014.

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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