Sooners Illustrated looks at what we know and what we don't following the 2016 spring

Three cornerbacks set to battle for the starting spot opposite potential All-Big 12 performer Jordan Thomas

Spring is finally over for the Oklahoma Sooners. It’s time to look toward preseason camp and the 2016 season. But first, we’ve got to look back in order to look forward.

Oklahoma capped its spring practice season with the Red-White game, showcasing a handful of good and a handful of bad as well.

Over the next week, Sooners Illustrated will break down each position. We’ll see what we’ve learned and what we still need to find out. We’ll cap it with a post-spring depth chart prediction.

Here it goes.



What we know?

If it wasn’t obvious midway through last season, then by spring, it was blatantly clear that Jordan Thomas is Oklahoma’s top option at cornerback. There’s a decent chance that he’ll be an All-Big 12 defender by the end of the season.

Thomas is smart, athletic and has prototypical size to play cornerback in the NFL, and he’s starting to realize his full potential.

Based on the spring, it’s Dakota Austin and not P.J. Mbanasor who will be starting opposite Thomas. Even Antoine Stephens has gotten into the mix opposite Thomas.

But outside of Thomas at this point, nothing is really clear.


What we need to know?

Oklahoma would have loved for Austin to fully assert himself or Mbanasor to show that he is ready to be a starter. It didn’t really get either, and like two years ago, it seems like No. 2 cornerback will be a huge question mark heading into the start of the regular season.

Instead the Sooners are left with questions. Will Austin’s size hold up over the course of an entire season against the onslaught of some of the top teams in the country? Is Mbanasor going to make that jump or is he just another depth cornerback? How did Stephens rise so far so fast? Remember, he was a late January addition to the 2015 recruiting class.

The No. 2 cornerback race is a three-horse competition. Which player wins the competition – or doesn’t lose it – is the bigger question.


What the coaches are saying?

“But Dakota, there’s a reason that he started and the other guy didn’t. That’s how it played out with what we did this spring. Our guys will always be competing.”- Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops


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