OU football: Hatari Byrd making a bid for playing time in the secondary

Through just the first three days of fall camp, Byrd moved around between corner, nickelback and dimeback, learning a variety of responsibilities so he can be used — somewhere — this season
by Ryan Aber Modified: August 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: August 7, 2013

Byrd's bright future goes far beyond his physical build, though.

“He's very knowledgeable,” Stoops said Saturday. “He's easy to coach. He wants to be great. His maturity level is one of the highest I've seen this early on in his career. His maturity physically, we know what he looks like, but his maturity mentally and athletically, it's a very unique set of tools to work with a kid this young.

“He may be the biggest fastest guy that we've seen at this young of an age. Again, he possesses a lot of the intangible qualities, but again, it's only been three days. So far, so good.”

Ndulue has seen evidence of those qualities through the few days.

“Just his size and anticipation — that's a lot of what the DBs are known for around here, anticipating where the ball is going to be,” Ndulue said. “He has that quickness, if he can just develop those skills and listen to Coach (Bobby Jack) Wright and Coach Mike, he's going to be a great player for us. The guy just stands out.”

Once again, with the continuing proliferation of four-wide offenses in the Big 12, the Sooners defense will feature plenty of six defensive back sets.

“That's the way we've built this package, having five or six DBs at all times,” Stoops said. “He's still got to work his way. He's still got a long way to go, but with a month to go before the season, I think he'll be a positive addition to our secondary.”

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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