March 8, 2013

Spring Preview: Defensive backs

With spring football just three days out from beginning at Oklahoma State, head coach Mike Gundy is faced with a conundrum in the defensive backfield. It's personnel-related, but not in terms of players; the Cowboys return three-fourths of their 2012 starters and have a host of experienced players in the depth chart. Player personnel in the secondary is in good shape.

Gundy's issue is in his coaching staff, where Jason Jones unexpectedly took a job at Ole Miss a week ago. Jones served as OSU's cornerbacks coach the last five seasons. As of this writing, Gundy had not named a replacement, so there is a good chance the Cowboys will go through the first week of spring drills without a corners coach. In that event, expect safeties coach Van Malone to pick up the slack, with help from graduate assistant or quality control staffers.

Key Losses: CB Brodrick Brown

Key Returnees: SR FS Daytawion Lowe, SR CB Justin Gilbert, SR SS Shamiel Gary, Soph CB Kevin Peterson

Lowe heads into his senior season as the unquestioned ringleader of the secondary. He's earned that status by leading OSU in tackles the last two season. Lowe and Gilbert have both started 26 consecutive games for the Cowboys, while Gary started all 13 last season.

Last season, the corner tandem of Brown and Gilbert did not live up to expectations. The pair did improve as the season progressed, but both players fell short of...

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