Annette Johnson thought long ago that her son was going to be an athlete.
“Even from a baby growing up, I was just amazed,” she said. “I told my husband when he was a baby, ‘He's got awfully big hands. With those big ol' hands, he might play basketball.' But he turned out to play football and he's become a great player.”
While his physical traits certainly took him quite a ways, Ronald said Cortez's competitiveness — especially with his older brother — has been what's made him stand out.
“He hates losing,” Ronald said. “Travis is about three years older than him and when Travis was about 14 and Cortez was about 11 years old, I used to make those two play. You talk about a battle — a brawl. There was no fighting, it was just competing. Once Cortez got a little older, a little taller, he was able to compete with Travis. Those two go at it. They still do.”
Cortez can't wait for the Sooners season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, when he's likely to play in his first game in nearly two years.
“I finally get my chance to touch the field again,” Cortez said. “I've got a great feel for it. I can't wait until Aug. 31 and just to bust it wide open.”
His family can hardly wait, either.
His parents will be there, along with four of his aunts.
“That will be special,” Ronald said. “I might get a little emotional that day.”