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

Steven Parker and Ahmad Thomas make for a formidable duo at the back end of OU's defense

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?

There might not be a more solid starting group in Oklahoma’s defense, which bodes well for the Sooners because it was just two years ago when the safety position was in total disarray.

Ahmad Thomas is the starter at free safety, having made a huge jump this past season. And Steven Parker will ideally start and play the entire season at strong safety, the position he took up after coming over from nickel back in place of Hatari Byrd. By all accounts, both have become formidable leaders for the entire defense, which arguably lost its four most vocal players.

It’s a strong pairing with Will SunderlandKahlil Haughton and Prentice McKinney filling in as back-ups and on special teams. It makes for a talented group with plenty of potential as well.


What we need to know?

With the starters decided, Sooners fans likely just want to know how much the trio formerly known as the “best safety class” to come to Oklahoma has improved. Thomas is a senior and Parker is a junior, which means in two years, the Sooners will have to look to new starters.

Next year, they’ll need a new free safety.

There are no immediate questions for the safeties, outside of hoping there’s no significant downfall from Thomas and Parker.

Every guess for this group is more long-term.


What the coaches are saying?

“In this league, you have to be able to cover a lot of space. You have to have good cover guys. That always gives you a chance. . . . I think it could be a strong group. If you want to be strong somewhere, the secondary is a good place to be strong.” – Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops

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