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2011 Oklahoma Football Defensive Preview: Defensive Backs

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Oklahoma's secondary is walking with a new swagger this year. After working in two new starters at safety and a new boundary corner in the spring they were rejoined by `10 starter Jamell Fleming for summer camp. They've nicknamed themselves, "The Sharks" and are looking to swarm to the ball, hit hard and draw blood in 2011 with a bunch of trash talk along the way.

Tony Jefferson is currently listed at the starter at strong side linebacker but don't be shocked to see him roaming in the secondary at safety. After earning Freshman All-American honors in 2010 as well as the Big 12's Defensive Freshman of the Year award, Jefferson remains a "tweener" who crosses over from linebacker to defensive back as the play calls for it. He recorded 65 total tackles last season with seven being for loss and two sacks. He's got the thickness to step up as a linebacker in run support and the speed to play in the defensive secondary. He may be Oklahoma's most versatile defensive player. 

Boundary Corner 

The absence of Fleming gave sophomore Gabe Lynn the opportunity to step into the starting role. He took the opportunity and ran with it! After having a great spring, Lynn remained the starter on the boundary side at the close of summer camp. 

With all due respect to Lynn, he'll eventually be passed up by Fleming who is the best corner in the Big 12. Last season he recorded 71 tackles and 5 interceptions. His additional 14 pass breakups shows his ability to shutdown a side of the field. 

Field Corner 

Junior Demontre Hurst stepped onto the field as a starter for the first time in 2010 and responded with 50 tackles, three forced fumbles, an interception and 11 pass breakups. Already a top corner on his own, teaming up with Fleming may just give Oklahoma the best set of corners in the Big 12. 

Depth becomes a bit of an issue because after Hurst is sophomore Joe Powell who is making the transition from receiver to defensive back. Although he's had a good camp he lacks experience at the position not just on the field. Its not inconceivable to think that Lynn could play on either side if the Sooners were put in a pinch. 

Strong Safety 

As a true freshman in 2010 Aaron Colvin stood out at the cornerback where he recorded 34 tackles and three pass breakups. Possessing the type of talent that made coaches want to put him on the field and already playing behind two of the best corners in the conference Colvin made the jump to strong safety during the spring. He responded by being the star of the Red/White Game. 

Redshirt freshman Quentin Hayes was a four-star recruit by ESPN and the 34th ranked safety prospect in the nation by Rivals. 

Free Safety 

Junior Javon Harris steps in as a starter this year after backing up Jonathan Nelson in 2010. His true potential stood out in the Bedlam when he came in for the injured Nelson to record a career high eight tackles. 

Sam Proctor is the lone senior of the group and provides leadership to the young'ins. Throughout his career he's recorded 75 total tackles over the course of 10 starts.