NORMAN — Considering its best and most experienced player didn't participate, the Oklahoma secondary performed pretty well overall in Saturday's spring football game.
Still, the unit was far from perfect and definitely enters summer workouts and fall camp with lots to improve. But what the OU defensive backfield — most notably, its cornerbacks — needs most is depth. That was plainly apparent Saturday.
Sophomore receiver Trey Metoyer finished with a game-high six receptions and 122 yards, but many of his most impressive moments came against junior walk-on cornerback Brandon Young.
“Obviously the depth at corner is something we just don't have right now,” said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “It's something we need to develop in this program and I think we recruited guys that can be relied upon.”
Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin earned first-team All-Big 12 honors last season, but gone is graduated three-year starter Demontre Hurst. Promising sophomore Gary Simon, considered a potential 2013 starter opposite Colvin, was dismissed from the team in February.
Sophomore Cortez Johnson and redshirt freshman Zack Sanchez played with the first-team defense Saturday, when Colvin sat out as many experienced, elite college football players traditionally do in spring games.
Johnson didn't play last season after transferring from Arizona, where he started a few games as a true freshman in 2011, when Mike Stoops was the Wildcats' head coach.
“Cortez has shown signs that he can be a quality player in this league,” Stoops said. “Consistency will be a big factor for that.”
The good news, though, is cornerback help is on the way. Incoming freshmen Dakota Austin, L.J. Moore and Stanvon Taylor arrive soon, and at least one of them will surely be expected to contribute early and often.