Pet projects: A coach and his position
Pedigree: A former star safety at Iowa who tutored a run of top DBs at Oklahoma, including Thorpe winner Derrick Strait and first-rounders Roy Williams and Andre Woolfolk.
Prodigies: In CB Antoine Cason and safety Michael Johnson, Stoops has two more guys with first-round potential. Cason (6'0, 182 pounds) has picked off seven passes in his career, including three last year, and he has eight tackles for a loss. Johnson, a 6'2", 205-pound transfer from Tyler (Texas) JC, made 60 tackles last year and a team-best four interceptions. Not surprisingly, Stoops sounds like he is far from finished schooling them. "Those guys have all-conference type of ability, and at times they play that way," he says. "But there has to be more consistency."