Going into last season, the secondary was considered a major point of strength. This year, the cornerbacks had some question marks going into the year.
Redshirt senior Rodarius Williams’ wealth of experience has allowed him to lock down that No. 1 corner spot, but the rest of that position group is starting to come together.
Jarrick Bernard-Converse’s position change
The high school corner, who was part of a talented trio of safeties at OSU, was brought down to cornerback early in the offseason.
It wasn’t set in stone until relatively recently — guys needed to solidify spots, including Tanner McCalister with the third safety spot.
But now he’s transitioned back to his old high school position, and he’s also swooped up a starting spot despite the presence of Missouri graduate transfer Christian Holmes.
It helps that the transition has been smooth.
“It's not much different, but I'll say corner you have to cover less space,” Bernard-Converse said. “Because the cover safety position you got a two-way go, you've got the other side of the field and you've got the boundary you can go. But at corner, I feel like you've just got one little area, but it's not much different. You're still covering at the end of the day. You still got to know what you're doing, know the defense and what the offense is trying to do to you.”
Christian Holmes’s impact
Still, the cornerback grouping should be in good hands with the aforementioned Holmes.
The graduate transfer looks to be an immediate contributor with the Cowboys. The 6-foot-1 corner has been talked up by many coaches/players this summer.
“He's been playing for a long time,” Bernard-Converse said. “He brought some experience from Missouri, and he's just been getting better every day. He brought a lot of juice to the secondary, he's been keeping us active and he's just been getting better and making us better too. He's also a great leader.”
Thomas Harper’s development
Sophomore corner Thomas Harper has mostly been a special teamer to this point, but he’s a promising player who could be a mainstay in the secondary in the future.
Harper’s brother, Devin, is an impressive, rotational talent at linebacker. Perhaps Thomas can hit that ceiling as well.
“He's getting better every day,” Bernard-Converse said. “He looks better than he did before. He looks faster, quicker, he looks like he knows what he's doing as well. He looks like he's more comfortable in the scheme.”