OU 15 questions for spring '15: No. 12

The countdown continues as we look at the OU secondary and what Kerry Cooks will bring to the table.

Oklahoma spring football is just around the corner. Coming off a disappointing 2014 season, all Sooner fans are looking forward to turning the page to 2015.

Every edition of spring practices bring along questions, but there has arguably never been a more fascinating and uncertain spring than the one OU is about to begin.

Sooners Illustrated is here to help. During these next 15 days, we are going to pose one major question each day regarding OU’s 2015 spring football issues.

The countdown will end March 6, the final day before OU’s first day of practice and coincidentally, OU’s second junior day event and OU basketball’s showdown vs. Kansas in a huge day in OU sports. After spring practice, we will revisit these same 15 questions and see what has been answered and what remains left to be figured out.

Question No. 12: What impact will Kerry Cooks make in the secondary?

New blood in the backfield, how will it all turn out? Gone are Bobby Jack Wright and Mike Stoops and in is Cooks, coming to OU from Notre Dame.

This was a huge offseason move, and a big vote of confidence in Cooks’ ability by Bob Stoops in letting his new charge run all the defensive backs.

Cooks’ ability to recruit Texas has already been established in the first month, now he has to show what he can do in terms of developing his players.

The secondary took a major hit in 2014. Cornerbacks, safeties, young, veteran, nobody was immune to the problems. Some former players have been candid in saying Mike Stoops lost control of that group and couldn’t get them back.

Once that happens, you have to look elsewhere. OU has done that with bringing in Cooks. Corner seems set with Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas, but the safety position is up for grabs.

A safe assumption is Steven Parker will man one of the spots, but the other should be written in pencil. Between Ahmad Thomas and Hatari Byrd, those are the two on campus with experience, and obviously OU is bringing a wealth of talent at safety in the summer with Will Sunderland, Kahlil Haughton and Prentice McKinney.

Will Byrd find new life with Cooks? Can Cooks help Thomas become better in coverage? Or is the answer one of the younger guys? Either way, coaching, development and scheme are all going to be watched intently to see exactly what Cooks is cooking in his kitchen.

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