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May 5, 2012
Sooners New Transfer a 'Slam-Dunk Guy'
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So far in Oklahoma's class of 2013 recruiting Mike Stoops and Tim Kish have helped the Sooners offer one West coast recruit after another that they had prior knowledge about. However, their latest commitment came from a player that they not only are familiar with but have already coached - 2011 Arizona signee Cortez Johnson.
Johnson, listed at 6-foot-2 and 196-pounds by the Arizona official site, was known to be visiting this weekend and announced his decision - while on campus.
"Just committed to Oklahoma, I'm officially a Sooner," Johnson announced on his Facebook page. "Oklahoma and New Orleans, what it do!
"Sooner Nation, love ya'll."
Johnson was recruited by Stoops and Kish out of New Orleans O. Perry Walker, the same program that produced 2007 Sooner signings Alex Williams and Tyler Stradford. At O. Perry Walker he collected two interceptions for the Chargers on his way to 4A all-state, and all-metro, first-team honors.
On Feb. 2, just a day after Johnson committed to Arizona, Stoops singled out the young defensive back as a guy he'd likely have trouble keeping off of the field.
"Cortez will be a guy who will compete right off the bat for playing time," Stoops said on Feb. 2, 2011 after Johnson chose Arizona over Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Southern Miss, and Louisiana Tech.
In that 2011 freshman campaign for the Wildcats Johnson played in eight games at cornerback, including starts against Washington and Colorado. Against the Huskies he collected seven tackles, a season high, and a pass break-up.
Just days before the Wildcats kicked off against Northern Arizona, Stoops did not back off his thoughts on Johnson.
"You just know about a certain player," Stoops said when asked about his confident remarks about Johnson on Signing Day.
"He's pretty much a slam dunk kind of guy. We knew he was a great player. You don't see many corners that size that have that much range, athletic ability. There are a lot of things about him that stood out as a player."
Stoops' opinion was echoed by then-Arizona secondary coach, and current Sooner defensive graduate assistant, Ryan Walters.
"He has just to be more focused on the details and mentally in it every play," Walters said just before the start of Arizona's 2011 season. "He's athletic as all get-out. And he's very football-savvy. He wants to be a great player, and that goes a long way."
All this considered with Oklahoma losing Demontre Hurst following the 2012 season, and probable 2012 cornerback starter Aaron Colvin following the 2013 season and no other players with playing experience Johnson's commitment could be huge down the road. It's unclear whether he will be granted a waiver of sitting out his transfer year due to the change of coaching staff, but the SoonerScoop.com staff has been told he will look to apply for one.
SoonerScoop will have much more on his decision tomorrow.