Spring Football Preview: Cornerbacks

A season ago Oklahoma State was up against it with just two real experienced cornerbacks. Both were good but the depth issue was scary for defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer and cornerbacks coach Van Malone. But they didn't blink when Ashton Lampkin was lost early in the Texas Tech game, and all of a sudden true freshman Ramon Richards was pressed into action.

A smart player who was offered by several Ivy League schools, Richards kept pushing and became a really solid cornerback by the end of the season. Now with a super senior and two-year starter on the way from Indiana in Michael Hunter, the Cowboys return Richards, Lampkin and senior All-American prospect Kevin Peterson (pictured above).

Cornerback should be a real strong spot on the defensive depth chart. On each of our previews we place players in three categories: returning starters, contenders, and waiting to be discovered.

Returning Starters
1 Kevin Peterson, CB, Sr., 5-11, 188
18 Ramon Richards, CB, So., 6-0, 185

Contenders
6 Ashton Lampkin, CB, Jr., 5-11, 185
36 Miketavius Jones, CB, Sr., 5-10, 175
2 Darius Curry, CB, So., 6-1, 190
3 Chris Hardeman, CB, So., 5-9, 180
25 Taylor Lewis, CB, So., 6-0, 185
30 Bryant Reber, CB, Sr., 6-0, 187
33 Archibald Ocloo-Lee, CB, Jr., 5-8, 180
17 Michael Hunter, CB, Sr., 6-0, 195 (will arrive in the summer)

Waiting to be Discovered
None

Van Malone is gone as he left for SMU immediately after the regular season and the Bedlam win over OU. Now Dan "Hammer" Hammerschmidt is taking over the corners and the days we've seen Coach Hammer out to watch off-season workouts he has had a smile on his face.

After Hammerschmidt's arrival, Spencer walked him around a workout and pointed out the corners. The smile worked its way on his face that day and it hasn't left with the thoughts of Peterson and Richards back.

Peterson is bonafide All-American and Jim Thorpe Trophy material. How good is Peterson? Opposing offenses often don't throw at him and when they do they usually pay for it.

Last season with his indoctrination by fire, Richards learned how to forget in a hurry. By season's end, he learned how to adjust and think like his old days as an offensive player in high school. He had three interceptions in 2014, returning one at Kansas State for a touchdown.

Lampkin lost so much time to his ankle injury that they finally just kept him sitting and he is back as a junior this season. Very talented, Lampkin will now have a challenge in earning the time over Richards when he comes in the summer. Michael Hunter will be in the mix as well after starting the last two seasons at Indiana.

You'll notice there are no cornerbacks waiting to be discovered and they have all been in the mix for awhile. McKinney North product Bryce Balous could be the one freshman that could play some corner, but Miketavius Jones is back from injury and ready to go as a fifth-year senior.

Darius Curry played some last season and gives the defense a bigger option against some larger framed receivers. Chris Hardeman is a Broderick Brown look-a-like at 5-9 and maybe less, but like Brown, Hardeman thinks of himself bigger than he really is.

Taylor Lewis and valuable walk-ons Bryant Reber and Archibald Oclool-Lee are valuable on special teams. Cornerback is in good hands with Hammerschimidt with the likes of Peterson and Richards starting and plenty of competition wanting to trade places. This really is a solid position heading into the spring.


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