STILLWATER — All the recent attrition at wide receiver has drawn Oklahoma State fans’ attention away from what should be the position of most concern for the Cowboys this spring. At wide receiver, a football team can survive with one great player — and OSU has one of the best around in Dez Bryant — surrounded by a bunch of role players. That’s not the case, however, in the secondary, where a good offense will identify and exploit weaknesses. And the Cowboys have a load of spots to fill in the defensive backfield entering spring practice, which begins a week from today. Counting the nickelback position, OSU has four vacancies in the defensive backfield. The good news is that there’s plenty of talent ready to fight for starting jobs. The bad news is that there’s not a lot of experience in the bunch. Only one starter returns in cornerback Perrish Cox, but everything else is up for grabs. The most intriguing player to watch this spring will be senior safety Lucien Antoine. It was a year ago in spring practice that the junior-college transfer earned his nickname, "The Punisher,” for his crushing hits. But his junior season ended with a torn ACL on the opening kickoff of the season’s second game. Coaches said the training staff was impressed by Antoine’s quick recovery from the injury, and he’ll be the favorite to win one of the safety jobs. The other spot could go to one of a trio of sophomores — Victor Johnson, Johnny Thomas and Markelle Martin — each of whom found a way to contribute last season as true freshmen. Martin was initially projected as a safety when he came to OSU a year ago, but he spent the 2008 season at cornerback. Now, he’s back at safety trying to break through. The only other safety candidate in spring ball will be junior-college transfer Andrew McGee, who played both safety and cornerback at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. August workouts will see the addition of safety prospects Daytawion Lowe and Joe Mitchell. As one of the top-rated players in Oklahoma, Lowe could compete for playing time early. The cornerback position opposite Cox will be an interesting battle as well, with seniors Terrance Anderson and Maurice Gray at the forefront of the competition. Both saw action in 2008, though Anderson was used more often and is the favorite for the starting job. McGee could get a look there, and redshirt freshman Brodrick Brown can’t be forgotten. Joining the competition in August will be incoming freshman Andrae May and junior-college transfer Mike Eargle, who reportedly signed with OSU over the weekend.