Sooners lose pair of defensive backs

Oklahoma will open spring practice without the services of two freshmen defensive backs

The Oklahoma secondary depth received a major hit as Micheal Hawkins has decided to drop out of school for a semester, for all intents and purposes, ends his career at OU.

Also, redshirt freshmen Bobby Klinck is going to give up football because of a medical condition that hinders him from training at a high level for a sport such as football.

Hawkins left the team for two weeks toward the end of the season, only to return in time to go through the Sooners' bowl workouts in Norman. However, Hawkins failed to keep his grades high enough to allow him to travel with the team to the Rose Bowl, thus he remained in Norman.

Now, with the second semester underway, Hawkins has decided to drop out of school and leave the football team. He plans to stay in Norman and work, but his educational and athletic plans remain uncertain. By dropping out of school he will not make any progress towards a degree, which probably pushes him to a junior college next year. Whether Hawkins will ever play football again remains uncertain.

The situation surrounding Klinck is much different. Klinck was beginning to come on this past season, but experienced fatigue often at practice. Klinck has gone through thorough medical testing and it is believed that he can no longer play football. Klinck will continue to go to school at OU and will be placed on a medical scholarship.

This hurts the depth of the Sooner secondary. Antonio Perkins definitely moves to one corner opposite All-America candidate Derrick Strait. Eric Bassey will move from strong safety to cornerback and will be a backup along with Jowahn Poteat.

Freshmen Aaron Miller will also be in the mix at corner and Jason Carter gets his chance at safety. Both are outstanding prospects with tremendous athletic ability. Miller and Carter could also switch positions, but right now Miller looks like the more natural corner.

This puts JUCO All-American Donte Nicholson at the strong safety spot with sophomore Brodney Pool. Nicholson figures to start with Pool getting major playing time. Freshman Tony Cade figures to come in and understudy behind Brandon Everage at free safety. Senior Matt McCoy may be the true backup at free safety and Michael Thompson is back for his senior year, and with another year to work on rebuilding his skills, he could play more of a role this year than last.

This also puts more of an emphasis on the recruitment of juco cornerback Chiojoke Onyenegcha, who the Sooners visited with yesterday. There is still no word on how that visit went.

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