You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know Oklahoma has had severe issues at the second cornerback spot during the 2016 season.
It started with senior Dakota Austin, then freshman Parrish Cobb was given a shot. Wide receiver-turned-cornerback Michiah Quick was the latest to be in the first 11 this last weekend.
No matter the lineup, the issues have been there. Jordan Thomas has one side of the field locked down, but OU needs to find an answer at the second spot. And fast.
The question for many is how in the world did the Sooners find themselves in this space? The answer, as it usually can be, is traced back to recruiting.
A look at the misses or too-early-to-tell-cases OU has suffered on the recruiting trail since 2012 brings it all together.
What a dynamic player Simon was or could have been. He was a star at football and basketball and played some as a true freshman. He left the program after his freshman year and remains a what if story for OU.
This was a tough one. After limited playing time as a freshman, Moore decided he needed to be closer to home and left after that first year. Mike Stoops brought up Moore immediately in trying to say what could have been with his secondary.
After starting one game as a freshman, Taylor has never seen the field again in that capacity. Not sure where the disconnect occurred, but it has been a tough road for Taylor. Bitten by the injury bug, Taylor has found a home on special teams.
Windham was a head-scratcher for a lot of OU fans even before he signed. Few thought somebody with his lack of size would materialize as anything in Norman. He left after a redshirt season and is now committed to Memphis.
It really felt like Green would be a natural fit for what OU likes to do with its defensive backs, but it never panned out for Green. He left the team last year, and like Windham, is set to continue his career at Memphis in 2017.
This is the one OU fans want answers to right now. Not later but now. Mbanasor was in a terrible spot last year as a last-minute starter and struggled. But everybody felt he would grow and become a starter at this point. Why he hasn’t? Remains a mystery that might never be fully explained.
There’s always one guy where, for whatever reason, things just don’t come together on the field. Stephens seems to be it. There haven’t been any reports of him sulking or not doing what he’s told, just not earning a shot yet in the eyes of the coaches.
When you look at all of that through the years for OU, you start to realize maybe it’s not as crazy as you think to see the Sooners struggling.
Add in the changes of a Mike Stoops/Bobby Jack Wright-led secondary to now Kerry Cooks calling the shots, and things are different.
Nobody wants to hear that, though. What OU fans demand are answers and solutions. Quick made some nice strides last week before a hamstring injury limited his ability in the second half.
Parrish Cobb should return to action this week as well. A by-committee approach can only go so far. Cooks and crew have to find a solution, and doing so against Texas would be a great place to start.