The 2013 Cowboys give Malone an interesting cast of characters to work with.
Gilbert is back after a disappointing 2012 season where he didn't record an interception and learned he couldn't rely exclusively on his athleticism to make plays.
Sophomores Kevin Peterson and Ashton Lampkin will battle for the other starting spot after both got meaningful playing time as true freshmen. Malone called Peterson a film junkie, while Lampkin's tenacity in practice perfectly fits the way the coach wants his corners to play.
Sophomore Miketavious Jones is the only other scholarship cornerback on the roster this spring, meaning the entire group has gotten plenty of reps while matching up with a strong receiving corps in OSU's high-powered offense.
Adjusting to playing tighter coverage more consistently has been a process during the first two weeks of practice. Malone admitted there have been a fair amount of mistakes as the players work to break old training habits and learn new ones. Gilbert noted conditioning will be key in order to keep up with the receivers and avoid getting beat over the top by the deep ball.
But that's what this time of year is for. And Malone believes the shift in philosophy will lead to better secondary results in 2013.