During the next two months leading up to the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Sooners Illustrated will breakdown the Oklahoma Sooners roster, starting with Jarvis Baxter (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Marquise Overton (No. 98) and the incoming freshmen.
We’ll look at last year’s performance, the best-case scenario for this season – without projecting injuries – and what each player means to the short-term or long-term success of the Sooners.
No. 12 – CB Will Johnson (6-foot, 185 pounds)
14 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 PBU
What happened last year: Johnson was a bit of an afterthought to start the season – a surprise and unknown commit from a small junior college on the East Coast. Nobody really considered him to be a first-year contributor, and he didn’t have a clear position. When Steven Parker moved back to safety, Johnson was called upon. Then, he became a bigger surprise. Johnson stabilized the secondary with Parker behind him. He became a stout tackler in run support and another solid cover corner on the inside.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 7. Last season carried no expectation for Johnson. This season comes with a bunch. He’s the outright starter at nickel back as Oklahoma will likely move to even more five-DB sets. Johnson will see the field significantly and often.
Best-case scenario for this season: Johnson sticks at nickel back, even under the constant duress of playing just about every snap during Big 12 Conference play. He picks off a pair of passes, and even plays on the outside occasionally – maybe even making a play for a starting cornerback spot as a senior the following season.