OU spring review: Safety

OU safety Hatari Byrd

Things conclude on defense today with a spring review of things for OU at safety.

A lot of questions were asked before Oklahoma started spring practice. Some were answered, some are still to be decided, while new ones popped up.

SoonersIllustrated.com is going to take a position-by-position look of what we learned about the Sooners from spring practice during the next couple of weeks.

Safety

Just like at cornerback, one of the spots is locked up. Strong safety is not a question as Quentin Hayes was the guy last season and is still the guy heading into this one.

But replacing Gabe Lynn won't be easy. Nobody would have said anything like that last spring, but Lynn was so vital to OU's success last season.

Three guys appear to be in the hunt with Hatari Byrd and Ahmad Thomas looking like the early favorites. Thomas showed a lot of versatility this spring in working a number of different positions, while Byrd never moved from his free safety spot.

The dark horse candidate is going to be true freshman Steven Parker from Jenks (Okla.) High. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops had no problems mentioning Parker by name as somebody who can come in and contribute immediately.

Not sure if Parker will be ready for the season opener in a starting role, but he certainly could play his well into the top 11 by the time the conference season rolls around.

Thomas is among the best pure tacklers on the team, while Byrd is going to make his mark in Norman with his bone-crunching hits. In the end, as it usually is at OU, it will be about consistency.

Projected depth chart

FS

Byrd

Parker

SS

Hayes

Thomas

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