Sooner Defense Filling Important Holes
The Oklahoma Sooners return quite a few people on a defense that led the league in total defense last season, but they have a couple of important holes to fill in the backfield. There is a fierce battle raging to replace cornerback Aaron Colvin and free safety Gabe Lynn. Zack Sanchez really came into his own toward the latter half of last season and has one corner position wrapped up. The big question is who will win the spot on the other side. Right now it appears to be a three horse race between Tulsa-native Stanvon Taylor, sophomore Dakota Austin and saftey turned corner Julian Wilson. "It's real competitive." said OU Starting Cornerback, Zack Sanchez, "All those guys are all making plays so, it's real good to see those guys out there competing everyday and trying to win that spot.""I feel like this year the defense is going to be really crazy." said OU Cornerback, Dakota Austin, "That's why I feel like every other corner I just want to do whatever it takes to be apart of this defense. Any kind of way. Nickel, dime, anything. I feel like this is going to be a great year for the defense."Quentin Hayes is solid at strong safety, but the battle rages to fill Lynn's free safety role. Right now Ahmand Thomas and Hatari Byrd are two sophomores trying to win the spot."Just go out there and make plays." said OU Free Safety, Hatari Byrd, "I really haven't set no goals. I just want a couple picks here and there. I already got two picks so I'm pretty good, but I still want to get better. It's still the beginning of the camp so, just weighing everything and just trying to make plays. That's all.Even though these new guys are vying for the starting job, a lot of them saw action a year ago and got good experience. Last year Dominique Alexander made a huge impact at linebacker as one of those new guys. But now that he's a salty veteran as a sophomore and he says things come a lot more naturally."Like when I see something I just shot it instead of sitting back and thinking about it." said OU Starting Linebacker, Dominique Alexander, "Sometimes I would see it and I was like, well, I don't know I don't want to mess up. Then I wouldn't just play real fast, but now I'm playing real fast. I'm shooting the gap and make tackles for loss. I'm just a totally different player than last year."Dominique was second on the team in tackles a year ago with 80. Sounds like he'll improve on that number in 2014.