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Monday, May 27, 2013
Crimson Countdown: CB Cortez Johnson

By Brandon Chatmon

During the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we will analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term impact. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.

No. 22 Cortez Johnson
Cornerback, 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, redshirt sophomore

Impact thus far: Johnson hasn’t made an impact on the Sooners heading into 2013. He had a superb freshman season at Arizona, starting two games as a true freshman in 2011 before transferring to OU last summer. He sat out the 2012 season due to NCAA transfer rules but was arguably the star of the spring with his superb play opposite Aaron Colvin. Replacing longtime starter Demontre Hurst was one of the priorities of the spring and Johnson is the clear favorite to start opposite Colvin at cornerback heading into fall camp. His size, athleticism and length could make OU’s cornerback duo among the Big 12’s best for the third straight season.

Expectations for 2013: Johnson should be a significant contributor in the Sooners’ secondary this fall. OU receivers raved about his length and ability during the spring, so if he continues to progress this summer it would be a major surprise to see him surrender his starting spot at cornerback.

Best-case scenario in 2013: His unique size and length allows him to play at an all-conference level, giving OU one of the best cornerback duos in the nation. If that happens, Colvin and Johnson would give defensive coordinator Mike Stoops a lot of freedom to create defenses and piece of mind when putting his cornerbacks in one-on-one situations.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: His strong spring means nothing. He struggles once the games start, leaving a potential hole opposite Colvin and opponents take advantage. That would force OU to turn to a more inexperienced player at the position and have to game plan to provide help.

SoonerNation's evaluation grade for Johnson: A. Or, more accurately, Mike Stoops’ evaluation grade. Stoops gets an A for recognizing Johnson’s talent initially, luring him to Arizona and then getting him to Norman after Stoops returned to OU.

SoonerNation’s development grade for Johnson: Incomplete. It’s tough to give OU a grade since he was forced to sit out during his transfer season. But if the spring is any indication, Johnson improved during his transfer season in 2012.