wilson Julian Wilson Note

Image via zimbio.com

During last Saturday’s spring game, one of the most obvious positions still up for grabs was the starting CB spot opposite Zach Sanchez. And to that point, if you’ll recall a couple weeks ago we mentioned that Julian Wilson is expected to compete for that outside CB spot once he returns from a shoulder injury. As many of you know, to this point Wilson has played primarily at the nickel back spot.

After speaking with some people close to the situation, I now have further confirmation on Wilson’s move to corner. I’ve been told he (Wilson) is working hard — within whatever capacity he is able to given his injury — and there are definitely those who believe strongly he can win that starting job.

Honestly, Julian winning the other CB spot would be excellent if he ends up have success. Because 1) he has the kind of size (OU lists him at 6’2″) that would put him on the radar of NFL teams, which can only help Oklahoma’s reputation/recruiting, and 2) he would be a senior which means OU’s recruiting pitch to guys like PJ Mbanasor and Jaylon Lane gets that much better because a spot will come open in their first year.

Now, obviously, even with Wilson gone next year you would have the same guys battling for starting job now in Dakota Austin, Stanvon Taylor, and Cortez Johnson all still expected to be on campus. So it’s not as though it would be an unimpeded path to a starting job for kids like Mbanasor and/or Lane, but your pitch would be genuine in that they could come in and compete for a starting job immediately.

Back back to Wilson and this 2014 defense. His size alone on the outside makes this an intriguing and potentially exciting move. He already has the experience helping in run support from his time at nickel back, something Mike Stoops has also always asked of his corners. Whereas with undersized guys like Austin and Taylor, there are some natural concerns with their ability to hold up while doing so.

With the front seven Oklahoma is expected to put on the field, even they are able to also field a lockdown secondary who can match up with Big 12 offenses then 2014 could prove to be a special year. And not just for the defense, but for the team as a whole. But a weakness at corner, where opposing offenses know they pick on you, it could make the job of the entire defense more difficult.

It will be interesting to see how this eventually plays out, but as we first reported the plan is still definitely for Wilson to make the move to corner and try to earn that starting gig.


  • Jason Vos

    I like it. I think either Julian Wilson or Cortez Johnson should play the other CB spot. Let the smaller/shiftier guys like Stanvon & Dakota play against the slots on the inside.

  • Zack

    I hope Wilson does pick it up to be the other starter at corner I think he will and that will make the defense even better. There won’t be many ways to attack the defense if it does stay healthy. The only thing that would be of concern is can the offense sustain drives and keep this defense off the field at times.

  • Jeremy Phillips

    I don’t know.. Julian has never shown the speed in my mind to keep up with wide receivers.. it would be nice to have his size at corner but that speed & quickness scares me..

    • captfoss

      I’m just going to leave this here. Spend at least 4.38 seconds looking at it…

      http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=113935&draftyear=2015&genpos=CB

      • Eric Hoffpauir

        I think the issue is more about quickness and fluidity. It’s nice that he can keep up with a WR running down a sideline, but can he move with a WR running a different route?

        • OU_Sooners

          He worked on slot players the past two years. I think he can handle some of the shifty guys.

          • Super Keith

            Yep. NB can be an extremely difficult position just because of the variety of players you have to defend. If you can hold it down at NB, then you should be able to play CB.

    • OU_Sooners

      so, you don’t remember the time he caught Desmond Roland from behind? Wasn’t even in the screen and the next thing you see it Julian run him down. He’s got speed to burn and playing on the outside compliments that. Well, just as long as your hips are flexible.

    • blaster1371

      If OU’s front seven turn out to be pass protection busters then I would think position will matter more than the speed to cover a post route. I see enemy offenses going to quick slants and curl routes if that is the time they have due to the OU pass rush. I think Wilson has more quickness than many might think. The nickel often has to break off his man (when released to a safety) and jump an underneath route. I feel better with him at CB than any of the younger guys I saw play.

  • thedeez

    Seems like OU always comes up with two solid corners.

    • captfoss

      Unless one of them is named Gabe Lynn…

      • thedeez

        Was he a starting CB? Always thought he was a backup

        • Super Keith

          I don’t think he ever started at CB, but he may have at NB.

          If Mike would have come back to OU a year or two earlier, I think Lynn could have improved his NFL stock. He seemed so much more comfortable at safety.

          • wolfbuilder

            Do u not remember the rain delay TT game 3 seasons ago, it was unreal how bad they were burning him. It looked like Payton Manning started that game for TT while Lynn was in there

        • blaster1371

          He was recruited as a CB and appeared there on the depth chart until he played nickel his junior year. Lynn was definitely his best at safety.

      • OU_Sooners

        Yeahhhhh. Gabe was a better Safety.

        • wolfbuilder

          Way better

        • wolfbuilder

          I still wake up in a cold sweat dreaming that he is at CB against TT

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          He had a lot key plays this season, as well. Mostly INTs.

  • Ryan

    Who do you see taking over the nickle spot on 3rd down if Wilson does make it out to corner? Would it be a mix of safety (byrd) and corner (taylor) depending on the situation?

    • Swanny

      I’d say Amhad Thomas would be the #1 candidate assuming Byrd wins the other safety spot. I think Striker can hold his own though if tabbed for the position.

      • roygbell

        Isn’t the plan to get some true big LBers to man the outside backer slots and free up Striker to just focus on rushing the passer from the Nickle spot?

        At least that was the plan with moving Grissom to LBer and bringing in Bond etc?

        • Shifty

          Not necessarily, Striker will disguise his blitz’s from the nickel and drop in coverage some..the qb won’t know where the heat is coming from..will Striker blitz? or Bond? or Geneo? A combination? It’s all about confusing the qb and the line and also being in a bigger package on rushing downs…if it is an obvious passing down then Striker will be at Jack and a db/backer will come in for coverage

  • Shifty

    I trust Mike and BJW to put the best 4/5 back there

  • Swanny

    Playing the slot is so unique due to the fact that your leverage is so hard. You have to have very fluid hips. The receivers are usually smaller and quicker. they have tons of field to work with to the outside and the inside. I think he’ll be just fine at corner.

    • wolfbuilder

      I think he spot on plus he has been playin the very best WR in the big12 man up and winning more times then not, if u ask me he will be even better outside where he can jam from time to time

  • ratman

    It is a way to get one of the best 11 on defense on the field all the time.

  • Super Keith

    Things will certainly be interesting in the secondary this summer. Quite a few battles to watch.

    The good news is that we have one of (if not the best) secondary coaches in the country (Stoops). So, I assume whoever wins the job will get it done!

  • blaster1371

    Yo nateg!!!!! My posts about this development about a month ago doesn’t sound so far fetched after all, huh? Wilson= any DB position not just nickel.

  • John Garner

    I trust Mike and BJW to come up with the right rotation at Corner. If it be Julian opposite Zach, all the better. He can definitely help with run support and corner blitzes.

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      Exactly. Either way I think we’re good at that position, especially if we bring in a top CB class.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Nb6BOr2aQ#t=59
    Pretty cool video edit from spring game, I don’t know if it’s been posted yet…

  • Bennie Owen

    Wilson to CB must mean Striker has nailed down the nickel spot