Aug 31, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops reacts to a play in action against the UL Monroe Warwawks during the first quarter at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Cortez Johnson Loses Oklahoma Sooners Starting Job After Suspension

Cortez Johnson

Nov 3, 2012; Ames, IA, USA: Oklahoma Sooners running back Cortez Johnson (22) looks for an opening during the first quarter against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports

When Mike Stoops came back to the Oklahoma Sooners, he brought someone with him. Cortez Johnson was someone that Mike highly recruited at Arizona and he promised that he would take him wherever he went to get that commitment. When Mike came back to OU, Johnson did come with him. After sitting out the one NCAA mandated season, he came into this year as the starting cornerback opposite Aaron Colvin.

Unfortunately for Johnson, he was arrested last year for marijuana possession and Bob Stoops suspended the cornerback for the first game of the 2013 college football season. It was just Louisiana-Monroe, so it was no big loss. However, it was a big loss for Cortez Johnson. OU shut out Louisiana-Monroe and the defense was just about perfect.

As the Sooners prepare to battle West Virginia in their second game of the season, Bob Stoops has announced that redshirt freshman Zack Sanchez played so well, that he is keeping that starting cornerback job and Cortez Johnson is now the backup.

While it isn’t always fair for an injured player to lose their starting job to a replacement, this was a situation where a bonehead move cost Johnson his playing time, and that carried over into losing his starting job – at least for now. Bob Stoops said that the battle between Johnson and Sanchez was always close, so this isn’t a surprise in his eyes. He always puts the best players out on the field.

Zack Sanchez finished fourth on the team in tackles with three and also had a pass breakup in the game.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Cortez Johnson has lost his chance to play this season. Mike Stoops brought Johnson with him to Norman because he believes in him. Don’t think for a minute that Mike won’t rotate his corners in and out to keep a fresh man in, and with Aaron Colvin solid on the other side, more depth is never a bad thing for the Oklahoma Sooners.


Follow Shawn S. Lealos on Twitter @sslealos.

Tags: Oklahoma Sooners

  • Wakita Sioux

    I trust Coach Stoops in his decisions. Tough love and the fact that evidently Cortez Johnson betrayed his coach’s trust as well as his team’s trust. Team members need to be able to count on you to be there to do your job. Someone who wanted the job more now has that job.

  • NoBiasIntended

    I agree with the decision to suspend him for the game. However I do not agree with them saying Sanchez played a great game. He had some nice plays, but there were multiple plays where he got burned but lucked out because the D-line had the QB running for his life. I mean, they were wide open. I really think they are just pressuring Cortez, but he’ll play I am sure.

    • Shawn S. Lealos

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t 50-50 at first with the player who plays better against West Virginia getting the start next week.

      • NoBiasIntended

        Cortez look really good when he came in for Colvin. Sanchez continued to look like a good freshman, getting burned a few times but still had a break up or two. Can’t wait to see Cortez and Colvin out there at the same time.