Post-Spring Breakdown: Part VII

This is the seventh and final part of the post-spring practice position breakdown. The previous ones featured the spring offensive updates, including breakdowns of the quarterbacks, offensive line, backfield and receiving group, and the spring defensive updates, including that of the defensive line and linebackers. Finally, here's some updates on the defensive backs.

1. Dominique Franks and Brian Jackson continue to develop their chemistry: One thing that makes a great secondary, a great combination for any position really, is chemistry between players. Players that know how other players play and know where they're going to be at certain times develop trust, and it allows them to stay at home in their position more and control what they control instead of doing too much. That is what Franks and Jackson have. The two have commented on their trust for each other and knowledge of where they are going to be on every play. They have developed more of that in the spring, and it will be a strengthening force for a back line that loses both of its starting safeties a year ago. Even with two new safeties stepping in, Franks and Jackson will be able to lock down their perimeter positions.

2. Quinton Carter provides the maturity of a starter: Players on the team, specifically Franks and Jackson, have said Carter already knows what will be his roles as a starter in the fall. He has a great familiarity with the system even though he wasn't a conventional starter last year. In fact, many for that reason, including the coaches, consider him as a returning starter with the amount of experience and playing time he had a year ago. Carter had 37 tackles in his 2008 campaign, ranking ninth on the team, and he also broke up two passes. So, Carter has the ability to become a talented safety for the Sooners next season.

3. Sam Proctor continues to make his way towards a starting role: Coming out of spring practice in 2008, Proctor was labeled as having one of the most successful springs of anyone on the team. He said, though, as summer and fall rolled around, he lost that focus he had during spring ball. That has been his mission throughout the spring, to carry that attitude and focus every day, whether it's spring, summer or fall, in order to get the starting position. Here's what he had to say during the spring.

"You just got to stay focused. That's the biggest thing I learned about my redshirt year. It's one thing to have a focused spring or a focused summer, but playing this game, you've got to remain focused every day of the week, and they're watching for it, so that was my life lesson was to remain focused. To remain focused every day, you got to restart and do the things that it took you to get there. You can't take anything for granted, and you can't think that since you were focused yesterday, that focus automatically carries over into the next day. You have to refocus. You have to clear your mind. You have to come out there willing to learn some more new stuff and reprove yourself everyday."

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