April 4, 2007

OU secondary in search of toughness

Oklahoma's move of Reggie Smith to cornerback has sent Bobby Jack Wright and the OU coaching staff searching for a replacement at strong safety. That search has been a bit tenuous throughout the spring as the Sooners haven't been able to find a capable replacement with returning scholarship players such as Keenan Clayton or Nic Harris.

The struggles to find Smith's replacement has been compounded by the absence of starting free safety Darien Williams who is sitting out the spring due to offseason knee surgery.

But OU may have found their man with former starting cornerback D.J. Wolfe who made the switch to strong safety last week at the urging of Wright.

"I just told him that he's been here and played well for us and that we're stacked up at cornerback right now," explained Wright of his sales pitch to Wolfe. "If he wanted a chance to get on the field we hadn't really solidified our safety position yet and I said, 'if you want a shot at either one of those safety spots I'd be glad to give him one.' He was all for it and he's done a good job at strong safety especially the short time he's been there."

Wolfe's presence has been needed because Wright hasn't found his man in Clayton or Harris.

Harris is currently working as the starting free safety and as the nickel back in the OU defense. There was some thought heading into the spring that Harris might be the perfect fit at strong safety. But his strengths as a football player don't include making tackles in open spaces.

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