NORMAN — Last season, Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris worked together as Oklahoma’s starting safeties.
The former Sooners are teammates again in Arizona — the Cardinals signed both as undrafted free agents in April — but are also competing for one roster spot, according to this piece on the Cardinals’ official website.
“It ended up happening that way, but it was like, ‘Let’s just do what we did in college, let’s help each other and compete every day,’” Harris said in the article. “It’s not hard. You’re out here to compete. In college it’s different. Now, for me, I want to make sure I’m on the top of my game. It’s great for us to be out here together, but when it comes down to it, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.”
Jefferson and Harris are joined in Arizona by former OU cornerback Jamell Fleming, who was drafted by the Cardinals in 2012.
“It feels just like college,” Jefferson said.
Interestingly, Jefferson and Harris have seemingly swapped safety positions during Arizona’s offseason practices. Jefferson played free safety last season at OU, but is working at strong safety in Arizona; Harris is just the opposite.
Jefferson was a second-team All-American last season as a junior, when he recorded 119 tackles while playing most of the season on a high-ankle sprain. He chose to skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, but surprisingly went unselected.
“Those feelings still kind of haunt me every day,” Jefferson said of going undrafted. “But it drives me when I’m out on the field. It was rough for me, the draft, getting calls in the mid-rounds and them saying ‘We might get you’ and then not getting picked up. I still think about it a little bit but I don’t want to. I’m here now and I am making the best of it.”