Oklahoma football notebook: OU defensive line deep but needs Jordan Phillips back

Oklahoma’s defensive line is certainly the deepest it’s been since Mike Stoops’ return as defensive coordinator. It’s also one of the deepest at any time during Stoops’ time in Norman.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: March 27, 2014

Walker made waves with his performances in bowl preparations and has continued that momentum in the spring.

Still, Stoops said, there was plenty of room for improvement.

“We’re not seeing him and his full ability yet,” Stoops said. “I don’t anticipate we will until next fall or until he gets some more repetitions in this system. It’s hard for your skill set to really show up. … When you’re thinking all the time it’s very difficult and learning how to take on blocks, until you get enough quality reps that you can really just go out there and play, I think he’s a guy that continues to improve.”

Stoops said it might take some time for Walker’s skills to show themselves on Saturdays though.

“You’re asking a lot,” he said. “Eric Striker wasn’t Eric Striker until this year if you remember right. Maybe that was our fault not playing him more the year before, but it takes awhile. Hopefully Charles, the light will turn on and you’ll see him start to make plays.”

JOHNSON WORKS THROUGH ISSUES

Cortez Johnson went through preseason workouts as the starting cornerback before a one-game suspension opened the door for Zack Sanchez to take over.

Sanchez quickly became a fixture in the secondary and Johnson didn’t see regular playing time.

Johnson said Thursday his off-the-field issues weren’t done after the suspension and he never recovered.

“My fault,” Johnson said. “It was all on me.”

Johnson said his issues involved family matters and poor study habits.

“I had a talk with Coach and we got things straight. I’m back on track,” Johnson said.

With Aaron Colvin’s departure opening up a spot opposite Sanchez, Johnson is trying to make the most of another opportunity.

“He knows I can be a great player,” Johnson said of Mike Stoops, who coached Johnson as a freshman at Arizona. “He brought me up here. Making bad decisions like I did last year wasn’t a great step to take. I learned from that. He kinda took me back in and gave me another shot. I’m trying to take advantage of it.”


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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