One of the most anticipated position battles for OU in the fall will be at cornerback.
Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of returning production at corner in 2023, other than redshirt senior Woodi Washington. But that doesn’t mean OU doesn’t have a lot of confidence and high expectations for the group.
Five weeks, 14 practices, and a spring game later, here are some of the biggest things we learned about the Sooners’ cornerback room in the spring.
OU cornerback breakdown
Washington, who has started 23 games in his career, including all 13 last season, has been a stable force the past three seasons. He’s totaled 154 tackles and five interceptions and is considered one of the top corners in the Big 12. But the starting spot across from Washington is up for grabs, with C.J. Coldon graduating and Jaden Davis transferring to Miami.
Davis started 32 games for the Sooners and had a chance to start opposite Washington next season, but OU has a lot of young talent who are making a push to see the field, and inevitably that pushed Davis out. Sophomore Gentry Williams is one of the leading candidates, playing in 12 games last season primarily on special teams. A four-star prospect from Tulsa, expectations are high for Williams and many believe he could be a two or three-year starter for the Sooners. But Williams missed most of the spring after having an episode during workouts a couple of weeks before practice began. Still, he will be firmly in the mix come fall camp.
JUCO transfer Kendel Dolby, redshirt sophomore Kani Walker and true freshmen Jasiah Wagoner and Makari Vickers are the other competitors. Dolby was the No. 2 junior college prospect in the country last year at NEO and impressed this spring. Walker, who transferred from Louisville in 2021, was injured most of the spring, but he could make a push in the fall. And Wagoner and Vickers are the youngest of the group, but the staff has made it clear both have an opportunity to play next season. And both had as impressive of a spring as anyone.
So while losing Davis was a blow to OU’s experience in the secondary, they aren’t lacking talent. And it helps to have Washington back, as he’s been one of their most consistent players on defense in recent years.
They said it…
“It’s a growing room. A hungry room. A malnourished room. These guys are working on their own, see them working in the back on their own. It’s great to have that type of mindset and culture in the room. The whole group. We have a really good group of guys that are hungry. It’s a good group, hungry group. They want to be elite. A lot of guys in that room were used to being the ‘but’ and then go from the ‘but’ to the ‘and’ and to the ‘why.’ If you want to be great, go get your hands dirty and go work.” – OU cornerbacks coach Jay Valai
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